A new study about the role radon might play in blood cancers is raising renewed attention for the colorless, odorless gas.
Radon occurs naturally in the atmosphere from the decay of uranium and radium in the soil. When it is able to seep in through cracks in a house’s foundation and becomes trapped, it can accumulate in levels considered dangerous to people.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said for decades that radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer — behind only cigarette smoking — and is estimated to cause 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year in the U.S. Experts say it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
A study by the American Cancer Society now indicates exposure to high radon levels could increase the risk of hematologic cancers — common blood cancers including bone marrow and lymph node cancers.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund is supporting health care officials, educators and community leaders in Grand Forks who will work to address the risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer by creating an education program for children.
The goal is to raise awareness of the cancer-causing gas so more people will test for it and mitigate the problem if levels are too high, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences professor Gary Schwartz said.
"Radon is really an invisible but very real health hazard for North Dakotans, and a lot of people don't know anything about it," he said.
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced by decaying uranium in the earth. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., according to the according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
More Minnesotans are testing their homes for radon, the radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the ground and can seep into homes. It’s estimated that 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year in the United States are attributed to radon exposure.
The Minnesota Department of Health said earlier this year that testing has doubled in the past two years, thanks to awareness efforts and a new state law that requires sellers of homes to tell potential buyers whether a home has been tested, and, if so, what the levels are.
But what happens after tests of the levels in a basement or living space exceed state standards for safety?
A call should go out to a radon mitigator. The fix for radon is relatively easy, experts say. A job usually starts at $1,500. Costs can be higher depending on the difficulty of getting under a slab and installing piping to release the radon safely through a roof vent. Other work can include sealing areas where radon is encroaching into a home.
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the Unites States. It’s caused most frequently by smoking, but radon exposure is believed to be the second leading cause. Radon may be lurking in your own home or your child’s school without you even knowing.
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Even though this is the last day of January, it is still important to note that it is National Radon Awareness month.
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, only behind tobacco smoke. It is responsible for a reported 21,000 deaths per year in the United States.
Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when naturally-occurring uranium in granite bedrock decays into radium. This radium then decays to radon, a colorless, odorless gas. Radon is not harmful outside, but it can build up to damaging levels inside a house.
All of North Georgia, especially the upper third of the state, is considered to be at a moderate to high radon risk.
In Columbia and Richmond counties, an average of 4 percent of the test kits come back with elevated levels of radon.
Radon enters homes through cracks and crevices in your foundation. The air pressure inside your home acts as a vacuum, helping to pull radon up from the soil beneath.
Radon gas is invisible and odorless. But it reveals itself in a deadly footprint it can leave behind -- lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and one in 15 homes in America is at risk from elevated levels of radon. January is National Radon Action Month and the perfect time to take action to protect you and your loved ones from this invisible killer.
Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. It occurs when uranium in the soil and rock underground breaks down to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that are inhaled and can cause lung cancer. Radon enters a home through cracks in the walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings, and can build up to dangerous concentrations.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- New research shows radon gas is popping up in some surprising places.
You can't see it, taste it or smell it, but radon exists in roughly one out of every four Portland-area homes.
And it can be deadly.
At only 49 years old, Darcy White was diagnosed with lung cancer, a year after her mother died from it.
"I had a 38 percent chance of survival after five years," White explained. "And I'll be at seven years this April 7th."
After chemotherapy and surgery to remove part of her lung, White is now cancer free and on a mission to warn people about radon.
It's what her doctor believes caused her cancer.
"He said 'I believe it was radon particularly because where you were raised,'" she said.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is urging residents to test their homes for radon gas.
Radon gas is an odorless and invisible radioactive gas and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health officials estimate radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.
The DPH recommends residents test their homes for radon in the winter months because this is when it tends to build up indoors.
Residents can get a free radon testing kit by completing an online form on the DPH Radon Program website.
Kits can also be purchased from the American Lung Association of New England at 1-800-LUNG-USA or at a local hardware store.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that homes with radon levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L should be fixed. Homeowners should consider fixing homes with radon levels that are between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.
Believing the adage, “What you don’t know can’t kill you,” could actually contribute to your premature demise. Especially if you apply it to radon testing.
Radon causes more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Many of those deaths occur in Minnesota, where radon is a serious health concern.
The startling reality is that McLeod County is smack dab in the middle of a high-radon zone. We need to take radon testing seriously.
A paper done at St. John’s University a few years ago estimated between 500 and 1,000 McLeod County residents’ lives could eventually be saved from radon-related lung cancer if testing and mitigation were mandatory. The government isn’t likely to require that, so the decision to safeguard your family is yours.
Have you purchased a kit to learn if you’re at risk? Do you know that if the last time you tested was more than five years ago, it’s time to do it again?
Last month, the American Lung Association took a significant step in the national fight against the second leading risk factor for lung cancer: radon. We've been battling radon for decades, but now we have a renewed commitment under a new plan.
The American Lung Association led the development of the National Radon Action Plan: A Strategy for Saving Lives, working with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and eight other national partners. The plan sets out strategies to drive the changes needed to reduce exposure to radon, a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless gas that causes an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually.