Science

Check Your Home For Radon! Radioactive Gas Is Second Leading Cause Of Lung Cancer

By Christie Abagon , Jan 09, 2017 09:41 PM EST
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Everyone breathes radon everyday but at very low levels.  This radioactive gas is released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil.  Breathing high levels of radon increases the risk of lung cancer. 

Among Non-Smokers, Radon Is The Leading Cause Of Lung Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, higher leves of the odorless, tasteless and colorless gas can be found in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.  Among non-smokers, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer.  Smokers who are exposed to radon have very high risks of developing lung cancer.

The National Cancer Institute said that in the United States, it is estimated that 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year are related to radon.  Testing is the only way to know whether your home has high levels of this radioactive gas. 

The Only Way To Know If Your Home Has High RadonLevels Is Through Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency raises awareness and advised that everyone should test their homes for radon, and if there are high levels of the gas, radon mitigation system can be installed.  In New Jersey, January has been designated as "Radon Action Month". 

Program manager of the Environmental and Occupational Health Surveillance Program with the state Department of Health, Dr Kate McGreevy, said: "There is no way of knowing whether you have high radon levels in your home unless you test for it.  It is actually very simple and inexpensive."

Short and long-term tests are available.  Short-term detectors can measure radon levels from 2 days to 90 days, while long-term can do more than 90 days.  Both tests are relatively easy to use and inexpensive.  State or local radon officials can explain the differences between the testing devices and recommend the most appropriate test for your home.

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