Lung Association Report: High Levels of Cancer-Causing Radon Gas Detected in  25% of Virginia Homes

During National Radon Action Month in January, the American Lung Association urges everyone to test their home for radon

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals that it is detected at high levels in about 25% of homes in Virginia. During January for National Radon Action Month, the American Lung Association in Virginia is urging everyone to help save lives by testing their home for radon and mitigating if high levels are detected.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas emitted from the ground. Radon is odorless, tasteless and colorless, and can enter a home through cracks in floors, basement walls, foundations and other openings. Radon can be present at high levels inside homes, schools and other buildings. Nationally, it is responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year and is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked.

Here in Virginia, about 25% of radon test results equal or exceed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level of 4 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter of air), according to the Lung Association’s “State of Lung Cancer” report.

“Radon in homes is more common than you think. In fact, high levels of radioactive radon gas have been found in every state but most places in the country remain undertested, so this isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States,” said Kevin Stewart, Director of Environmental Health for the Lung Association. “Testing for radon is the only way to know if the air in your home is safe. The good news is that it is easy to test. Do-it-yourself test kits are simple to use and inexpensive.”

After high levels are detected, a radon professional should install a radon mitigation system, which is easy and relatively affordable. A typical radon mitigation system consists of a vent pipe, fan and properly sealing cracks and other openings. This system collects radon gas from underneath the foundation and vents it to the outside. Contact your state radon program for a list of certified professionals in your state. Some state health departments offer financial assistance or low interest loans for radon mitigation.

Learn more about radon testing and mitigation at Lung.org/radon and take the Lung Association’s free Radon Basics course at Lung.org/Radon-Basics.

 

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
717-971-1123
[email protected]

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