Check your home for radon

November 14, 2013 

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month and January is National Radon Awareness Month, but those are not the only times when radon advocates are active.

Elevated levels of radon -- the second leading cause of lung cancer -- can be in any type of building or structure that touches the ground whether it is new or old, brick or frame, with or without a basement, with a crawl space or slab on grade. Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer mortality with an EPA estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths yearly; elevated radon is found in every state; it is responsible for up to 18 percent U.S. lung cancer deaths according to the World Health Organization's newest evidence.

Perform a simple test with an easily obtained kit. If the radon level is between 2 and 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), test again; if the level remains elevated, hire a licensed/certified professional to install a mitigation system. The U.S.EPA uses an action level of 4.0 pCi/L; however, WHO uses 2.7 pCi/L as its reference level. There is no safe level of radon exposure.

Not wanting anyone else to learn about radon after lung cancer has reared its demonic head, the activist relays the message of the Surgeon General that everyone should test the home for radon, a Class A carcinogen. I ask you to test your home for radon, fix it if the level is elevated, and share your radon knowledge with others.

Gloria Linnertz

Waterloo

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