Another Silent Killer

By: Amy Jones
By: Amy Jones

Experts say radon takes the lives of nearly thirty thousand people in the United States every year. Local health experts are praising the way Western Kentucky University has handled the cancer-causing gas.

Over the past few years, WKU has tested over 2000 rooms on its campus. Officials put in radon reduction systems when they discovered high levels of the substance. Experts say the rest of us should follow WKU's example.

To obtain a free radon testing kit, call the State's EPA office at 502-564-3700 and ask for the radon coordinator.

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Radon Facts

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.

You can't see, smell or taste radon. But it may be a problem in your home. Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

Radon can be found all over the U.S.

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building -- homes, offices, and schools - and build up to high levels. But you are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home. That's where you spend most of your time.

You should test for radon.

Testing is the only way to know if you are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy -- it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.

You can fix a radon problem.

There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that aren't too costly. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.

If you have further questions about Radon, please call your State Radon Contact or the National Radon Information Line at: 1-800-SOS-RADON. If you have already tested your home, you can call The Radon FIX-IT Program at 1-800-644-6999.

Source: < http://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/> United States Environmental Protection Agency


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