ATLANTA (MyFOX ATLANTA) – Radon is all around in homes, schools and businesses. The gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless and can become a silent killer.
Emerson Brooking spent most of his life growing up in his family's north Georgia home, which was riddled with radon.
"I'm much more at risk for cancer now because of this odorless, colorless gas," said Brooking.
Brooking's father blamed himself for his son's exposure to the dangerous gas.
"I definitely didn’t intend to gas my whole family with radioactive gas," said the elder Brooking.
"The fact of the matter is a great many homes in north Georgia have elevated radon levels," said radon expert Terry Howell.
Lung cancer remains the number one killer for both men and women in the United States, claiming an estimated 160,000 lives this year. The vast majority of cases occur in smokers or former smokers, but around 20,000 non-smokers also succumb to this devastating disease. Recently, some studies have indicated that lung cancer in non-smokers is increasing, and that women are more susceptible to it than men.
However, a new study from an international team of researchers found the opposite: that men have a higher death rate from lung cancer across all age groups and all ethnic groups examined. Scientists combined information from 13 studies and 22 cancer registries in 10 countries in their analysis. They found no evidence that lung cancer rates are on the rise among non-smokers.
Researchers continue to search for causes of lung cancer among this otherwise low risk group - thus far studies implicate asbestos, radon, radiation treatments, and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
Drooling Stars Have a Serious Message About RadonThe toughest thing about filming a recent video about radon — for Douglas County Health Department officials, at least — was dealing with the ad's high-maintenance stars. Many wouldn't sit still. Others drooled on the set. Don't blame the actors, though. They were, after all, dogs.
Nine Midlands pooches made their screen debuts in the public service announcement, which officials submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of an EPA online video contest to promote radon awareness.
The one-minute Douglas County video, called "Subterranean Radon Blues," is a take on the music and lyrics of the Bob Dylan classic "Subterranean Homesick Blues." In it, the dogs — not Dylan — flip through cue cards with the help of puppet puppy paws.
American Lung Association Releases Report on Lung Cancer in African Americans: Calls for Eliminating Health Disparities
WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association today released its report, Too Many Cases, Too Many Deaths: Lung Cancer in African Americans, a compilation of research examining lung cancer among African Americans and the need to eliminate this and other health disparities. The report, which includes a preface by William J. Hicks, M.D., provides important information on the possible biological, environmental, political and cultural factors that make African Americans more likely to get lung cancer and more likely to die from it.
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the nation. It has been the leading cause of cancer death among men since the early 1950s, and in 1987 it surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. African Americans, however, suffer from lung cancer more than any other population group in the United States. Key facts regarding this disparity include the following:
In July EPA launched its Radon Video Contest, seeking public service announcements on the theme "Radon: Test, Fix, Save a Life," which encourage Americans to test their homes for radon, and fix when necessary. EPA received more than 30 entries!
EPA is pleased to announce that the winning entry in the Radon Video Contest is “Radon: Eddie’s Story” submitted by Benjamin Schultz and Michael Gentilini.
EPA would also like to recognize to the following videos as Honorable Mentions:
Obituary: David S. Chase, Ph.D., Manager of the New Hampshire Radon Program
CONCORD -- David S. Chase, Ph.D., 60, died Nov. 24, 2008, at home after a sudden illness.
He was born in Concord to Stanley A. and Georgette C. (Provencher) Chase.
He graduated from Concord High School, received undergraduate degrees from the University of New Hampshire, attended programs at Utah State and the University of North Dakota and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wales (U.K.).
He was passionate about his work and more than generous with his time and knowledge.
At the time of his death, he was manager of the radon program for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
He participated in education, inspection and policy making nationally and internationally on environmental issues related to radon.
Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) released a draft profile for radon, open for public comment. Comments will be accepted until February 2009. The ATSDR profile will likely not be updated again for many years so this will be the main reference individuals use for radon many years to come. For full details, including the full draft profile please visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp145.html.
President offers Earth Day advice
Can't get enough of the Earth Day festivities? Try logging onto the White House's new Earth Day Web site.
The site not only includes a video of President Obama touting Earth Day's importance, it also directs you to a handy list, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, called "Pick 5 for the Environment," that allows you to select from a menu of 10 green activities that you might like to commit to, such as conserving water, recycling and testing your home for radon.
Obama tells Americans in the video, "I want you to take action -- in your home or your community; at your school or your business -- to improve our environment. It can be as simple as riding the bus or the subway to work, making your home more energy-efficient, or organizing your neighbors to clean up a nearby park."