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radon induced lung cancer

Minnesota is a Hotbed for Radioactive Gas Radon

Wes and Mary Anne Bry moved their three daughters to Lakeville 18 years ago, thinking their new house on a quiet cul-de-sac would be a dream home.

But last September, just days before their 30th wedding anniversary, Wes was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and he began to wonder.

Wes, who is 60, had never smoked, and an Internet search led him to radon gas, the nation's second-leading cause of lung cancer. The Brys bought a test kit at a local hardware store, placed it in their basement -- and learned that the house where they have lived for nearly two decades has radon levels roughly three times above the federal safety level.

"I alerted all my neighbors," said Mary Anne. "Anybody I know ... I say: 'You should be doing this test.'"

State health officials are equally alarmed that, despite years of effort by their colleagues, thousands of other Minnesotans remain unaware of the health risks from the odorless, colorless gas.