January is Radon Action Month

Source: zerbor - 123RF

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that 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.

You can’t see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure.  Radon can have a big impact on indoor air quality.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says radon causes up to 15% of lung cancers worldwide. In an effort to reduce the rate of lung cancer around the world, WHO launched an international radon project to help countries increase awareness, collect data and encourage action to reduce radon-related risks.

The U.S. EPA is one of several government agencies and countries supporting this initiative and is encouraged by WHO’s attention to this important public health issue.

Dr. Bill Field at the University of Iowa and the Iowa Cancer Consortium have prepared “Breathing Easier” to help educate physicians on the dangers of radon and the link between the radioactive gas and lung cancer.

The guide contains:

  • Radon statistics and public health impact;
  • The science behind the risk estimates;
  • Radon testing and reduction;
  • Sample guidance for use in health care settings; and
  • The roles of health care providers in reducing the burden of radon-induced lung cancer.

Since its launch in 2011, the Federal Radon Action Plan (FRAP) has reached at least 1.6 million homes, schools, and childcare facilities with federal guidance and incentives and, in 12.5% of those units, testing and mitigating when necessary.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *