The American Lung Association and the New Mexico Indoor Radon Outreach Program have announced a partnership to encourage the public to learn more about the dangers of radon gas and provide information on New Mexicans can protect themselves and their families from this common, but dangerous, airborne threat.
Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, radioactive gas and has been found to cause lung cancer. Although radon is dangerous, especially at high levels over many years, it causes no immediate symptoms or warning signs. Unfortunately, when people are first diagnosed with lung cancer, the disease is often quite advanced, and the prognosis is poor. Therefore preventing exposure to radon in the first place is extremely important.
Any building—home, school, or workplace, old or new, with or without a basement—can have a radon problem. The only way to know is to test.
The partnership between the Lung Association and the Radon Outreach Program not only will deliver potentially lifesaving information about the dangers of radon, but also guide the public to free or low-cost radon home tests. Today, New Mexico residents can request a free radon test kit simply by visiting www.env.nm.gov/rcb/indoor-radon-outreach-program/ or calling (505) 476-8608.
Based on laboratory data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can be shown that as many as one in four homes in New Mexico may have radon levels at or above the action level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And important to remember is that the Action Level is not a health standard, as there is no known safe level of exposure.
Once testing is complete, and if elevated radon levels are confirmed by a follow-up test, then the home or other building should be fixed, or “mitigated,” to reduce its radon to low levels. The good news is that radon is a health problem that has a simple solution. There are straightforward methods that radon professionals use, usually designed to keep radon from coming indoors from the soil and rock near the building’s foundation. Contact the New Mexico Indoor Radon Program to find a trained mitigation specialist in your area.
About the American Lung Association
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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.