January “Was” National Radon Action Month, but don’t think that Radon stops on January 31st…It is continuous, 365 days a year!!! You need to know if you have elevated levels of radon gas or not!!!
What is Radon? Check out what the Atlanta Home Inspector has to say (click here) Ask The Atlanta Home Inspector
To have your home tested for Radon, contact Southern Home Inspection Services @ 770-645-2132 or www.weinspect4u.com ~ .
Below courtesy of EPA.gov
Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer In Non-smokers and Smokers Alike
Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond five years, depending upon demographic factors. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking causes an estimated 160,000* cancer deaths in the U.S. every year (American Cancer Society, 2004). And the rate among women is rising. On January 11, 1964, Dr. Luther L. Terry, then U.S. Surgeon General, issued the first warning on the link between smoking and lung cancer. Lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the number one cause of death among women. A smoker who is also exposed to radon has a much higher risk of lung cancer.
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. On January 13, 2005, Dr. Richard H. Carmona, the U.S. Surgeon General, issued a national health advisory on radon. Visit www.cheec.uiowa.edu/misc/radon.html for more on a study by Dr. William Field on radon-related lung cancer in women.
Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of lung cancer and responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Smoking affects non-smokers by exposing them to secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke can have serious consequences for children’s health, including asthma attacks, affecting the respiratory tract (bronchitis, pneumonia), and may cause ear infections.
Learning more about lung cancer. The following sources provide a wide range of good information about lung cancer, prevention, and treatment.
- American Cancer Society — www.cancer.org
- American Lung Association — www.lungusa.org
- National Cancer Institute — www.nci.nih.gov/
- Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center — www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/vicc
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering — www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/44.cfm
Why is radon the public health risk that it is?
EPA estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. Radon is a form of ionizing radiation and a proven carcinogen. Lung cancer is the only known effect on human health from exposure to radon in air. Thus far, there is no evidence that children are at greater risk of lung cancer than are adults.
Radon in air is ubiquitous. Radon is found in outdoor air and in the indoor air of buildings of all kinds. EPA recommends homes be fixed if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average radon concentration in the indoor air of America’s homes is about 1.3 pCi/L. It is upon this level that EPA based its estimate of 20,000 radon-related lung cancers a year upon. It is for this simple reason that EPA recommends that Americans consider fixing their homes when the radon level is between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average concentration of radon in outdoor air is .4 pCi/L or 1/10th of EPA’s 4 pCi/L action level.
For smokers the risk of lung cancer is significant due to the synergistic effects of radon and smoking. For this population about 62 people in a 1,000 will die of lung-cancer, compared to 7.3 people in a 1,000 for never smokers. Put another way, a person who never smoked (never smoker) who is exposed to 1.3 pCi/L has a 2 in 1,000 chance of lung cancer; while a smoker has a 20 in 1,000 chance of dying from lung cancer. Figure A compares the risks between smokers and never smokers; smokers are at a much higher risk than never smokers, e.g., at 8 pCi/L the risk to smokers is six times the risk to never smokers.
The radon health risk is underscored by the fact that in 1988 Congress added Title III on Indoor Radon Abatement to the Toxic Substances Control Act. It codified and funded EPA’s then fledgling radon program. Also that year, the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General issued a warning about radon urging Americans to test their homes and to reduce the radon level when necessary (U.S. Surgeon General).
Unfortunately, many Americans presume that because the action level is 4 pCi/L, a radon level of less than 4 pCi/L is ‘safe’. This perception is altogether too common in the residential real estate market. In managing any risk, we should be concerned with the greatest risk. For most Americans, their greatest exposure to radon is in their homes; especially in rooms that are below grade (e.g., basements), rooms that are in contact with the ground and those rooms immediately above them.
It’s never too late to reduce your risk of lung cancer. Don’t wait to test and fix a radon problem. If you are a smoker, stop smoking. Consider quitting. Until you can quit, smoke outside and provide your family with a smoke-free home (www.epa.gov/smokefree).
Take the Smoke-free Home Pledge today!
Kansas State University (KSU) and the National Safety Council (NSC), in partnership with EPA, are proud to announce the 2010 National Radon Poster Contest winners. Congratulations to all of the participants in the 2010 National Radon Poster Contest, and special congratulations to our national winners listed below. To view all of national and state level winning posters, visit the KSU National Radon Program Services Web site at http://sosradon.org/2010-poster-contest .
- 1st Place – Alec of Guthrie, OK
- 2nd Place – Emily of Holladay, UT
- 3rd Place – Noah of Savannah, MO
For the 2010 contest, 216 schools in 36 states, one U.S. territory and seven tribal nations created a total of 2,862 posters. This is an impressive increase over the results from previous years, and shows how increased efforts have helped raise awareness of radon risk among children and their parents.
The top national winner, a parent and the sponsoring teacher will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to be honored during the National Radon Poster Contest Awards Luncheon at the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium in January 2010.
Eddie’s Story ~ Please Check It Out!