January is National Radon Action Month

(January 4, 2012)

Contact: Bev Stewart 
(503) 718-6146

January is National Radon Action Month
The American Lung Association recommends that all homes be tested for radon.

Honolulu, HI–In an effort to educate and encourage Hawaii residents about the importance of lung health, the American Lung Association in Hawaii is kicking off Radon Action Month. While many Hawaii residents keep their windows open regularly, thus decreasing the risk of high radon levels accumulating in the home, the only way to know if your home has a high level of radon is to test. The Environmental Protection Agency and the American Lung Association recommend that all homes be tested for radon.

Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that naturally occurs in the soil. When levels get too high, it becomes hazardous to our health. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

“You can’t see, taste, or smell radon in your home, so the first step is to test — if you don’t test, you don’t know,” said Renée Klein, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific. “We know from many studies that breathing radon increases your risk of lung cancer. Testing is an easy, important way to protect you and your family.”

Radon and smoking make an even more deadly combination. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States, with 85 percent of those deaths occurring in individuals who have smoked.

Lung cancer kills more Americans than any other cancer, claiming more lives than the next four leading cancer killers—breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers—combined. Lung cancer places a significant burden on our society. According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 221,130 new lung cancer cases and 156,940 lung cancer deaths in the United States in 2011. The National Institutes of Health report that an estimated $9.6 billion is spent each year in the United States on lung cancer treatment alone.

The American Lung Association and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that all homes be tested for radon. Test your home for radon today by purchasing at radon test kit at: www.radonkit.org. If you are building a new home, ask your builder about radon-resistant construction materials. 

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About the American Lung Association in Hawaii
The American Lung Association in Hawaii is a non-profit, voluntary public health organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease in Hawaii. Our programs focus on the areas of asthma, clean air, tobacco prevention and lung disease.
For more information about the American Lung Association in Hawaii or to support the work it does, call: (808) 537-5966 or visit: www.ala-hawaii.org.