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Lung Cancer/Radon

Radon – The Killer Gas

Please Give a listen to our medical advisor, Dr. Wallace Akerley, Huntsman Cancer Institute

Thanks to Dr. Bill Field and the National Institute of Environmental Sciences
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/translational/peph/podcasts/radon/index.cfm

People still ask, “What is radon? Why should I be concerned about radon?

  • Radon is a form of radiation that can build up in structures—homes, schools, and workplaces—coming from the decay products of uranium in the soil and rocks in the ground beneath the building.
    • Radioactive alpha particles are released into the air, can be breathed into our lungs, attached to cells in the lining of the lungs, change the DNA of those cells, develop into cancerous cells, and spread throughout our bodies.
    • Radon gas is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. The only way to detect its presence is to perform a simple test.
    • High radon levels have been found in every state in our nation. Radon problems do vary from area to area, even house to house. The only way to know the level of radon you are being exposed to is to test.
    • “Comparative human health-based risk assessment performed by the U.S. EPA and numerous state agencies have consistently randed radon among the most important environmental health risks facing the nation. The time for more aggressive action to battle this deadly killer has long passed. In the last half century alone one million people have died from radon exposure in the U.S.”
      Dr. Bill Field, Professor of Public Health and member of the World Health Organization’s International Radon Project.
    • “Residential radon exposure is estimated to be responsible for 16,200-22,700 lung cancer deaths according to the BEIR VI Report calculations. The diversity and consistency of the information from studies of residential radon exposure indicates that the weight of evidence for radon carcinogenicity is overshelming.”
      Jay H. Lubin, Ph.D. Senior Health Scientist, Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute of Bethesda, MD.

People still ask, “My house is new; radon can’t be in my house, can it?”

  • Radon can be present in any type of building that has contact with the ground which includes new homes, old homes, well-insulated home, homes with basements, homes without basements, homes build with crawl spaces or homes that are slab on grade, frame homes, brick homes or even mobile homes that have tight shirting all around.
    • Newly constructed homes can be built with radon reducing features at the time of construction. Some states have this as a state law and this is monetarily advantageous as opposed to installation of a mitigation system after construction.
    • Certified and or licensed radon professionals should always be chosen to install a radon mitigation system to decrease the level of radon. These websites list qualified/certified radon measurement and mitigation professionals http://www.nrpp.info