DETROIT, MI | January 26, 2018
One in nearly 15 homes contain dangerous levels of radon, a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
An estimated 21,000 people die each year from lung cancer due to exposure to radon in homes and other buildings. Dangerous levels are found in homes in every state, including in Michigan. January is Radon Action Month and the American Lung Association in Michigan encourages Michigan residents to take steps to protect their health and spread awareness of this radioactive risk.
The American Lung Association offers three important steps to fight radon and spread awareness:
Test your home for radon. An air quality test is easy and it is the only way to know if you have dangerous levels of radon. Inexpensive radon testing kits can be found at many hardware stores or online. Testing can also be done by a certified radon-testing professional. If dangerous levels of radon are found, fixing your home is also easy. Homeowners can install a radon mitigation system get the radon out of your home for about the same price as a large television.
Tell your neighbors and others to test for radon. Your neighbors can have high levels even if your home does not. Radon can build up in all buildings, not only in homes. Speak with local community officials and public health professionals to encourage radon testing – and mitigation systems if high levels are found – in schools and childcare facilities and other public and private facilities. This will also help increase visibility of this otherwise invisible menace.
Build radon protection into real estate transactions. During real estate transactions, potential buyers should be informed about the radon levels in the home they’re considering. If you are selling a home or purchasing one, be sure to get the home tested for radon. If the house has dangerous levels, a radon mitigation system can easily solve the problem.
“You can’t see, taste or smell radon, but it is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, which is the country’s top cancer killer,” said Emily Lee, the Vice President – Mission Services of the American Lung Association in Michigan. “This naturally occurring gas comes into our homes through spaces in the walls, floors, basements and foundation. Too many people do not know that they may have this dangerous threat in their homes. Testing is easy and it’s the only way for people to know how serious the risk of exposure is. It’s something every home and business owner in Michigan should do.”
Fighting radon requires workable strategies, and the American Lung Association led the development of the National Radon Action Plan to provide those tools. In 2016, the Cancer Moonshot report cited the National Radon Action Plan as a leading effort to save lives. Learn more about radon at Lung.org/radon or call the Lung Association’s toll-free Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA).
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
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