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."
James Burkhart, Ph.D., Editor of the 2008 International Radon Symposium Proceedings, is pleased to announce that the 2008 Proceedings are now available for review and download. Research published in previous years is also available for download on the AARST website. There is no charge to download these research papers and you do not have to be an AARST member to use this web database.
AARST associate membership and full membership fees support free, worldwide access to peer-reviewed research, which in turn contributes to international science and the reduction of risk from radon-induced lung cancer. Therefore, all radon professionals are invited and encouraged to consider joining AARST to support this important work.
A CD version of the Proceedings will be published in late October of this year.
Harnessing the Media to Raise Awareness
In the past, the local newspaper in Jessamine County, KY was not eager to print stories about environmental issues. This January, however, Lindsay Ball and the Jessamine County Health Department decided to engage the newspaper to help distribute free radon tests during National Radon Action Month.
“I called the newspaper office and asked them how I needed to go about getting an article about radon in the newspaper,” explained Lindsay Ball. “I told the editor what radon was and how it was the second leading cause of lung cancer. I asked if they could print an article about radon stating that the Health Department had free radon test kits available.”
After learning about the major health effects of radon and potential impact on their community, the editor was more than happy to print the article. He asked Lindsay to submit an article.
Radon levels at Washougal City Hall force changes
Air quality testing at Washougal City Hall revealed high levels of radon gas throughout the building, prompting the mayor to relocate most employees to other city buildings.
Exposure to radon, a natural component in soil gases, can cause cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The average indoor radon level is 1.3 picoCuries of radiation per liter (pCi/L) of air, the EPA says.
Testing in Washougal City Hall earlier this month measured levels between 11 pCi/L and 26 pCi/L, with the highest concentration in a closed basement storage area, Mayor Sean Guard said in a news release. Findings were received Monday.
A level of 4 pCi/L should prompt action to lower the radon level, the EPA says. Guard said the EPA stopped short of calling City Hall unsafe but said it required immediate action.