A study in the Environmental Research journal published online in March focused on the link between radon in residential homes and the risk of cancer in the blood. The findings of this study suggested that radon, an already known leading cause for lung cancer, may also, increase the risk for blood cancers in women. This risk was not seen among men.
What is Radon?
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that everyone across the nation is inhaling without even knowing. “Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year” according to assessments done by the EPA. Radon comes second to tobacco use as the leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the Unites States. It is a gas that is produced naturally from the breakdown of uranium in the ground. There is no real way to avoid radon exposure. However, we should take the initiative to minimize our exposure.
The only way to check for exposure levels is to test for it. According to the EPA, winter is the best season to test for radon because closed windows and doors trap the gas in.
To obtain a radon test kit is fairly easy and inexpensive. You can obtain it in one of three ways: National Radon Program Services, Home improvement/hardware stores (i.e. Home Depot, Lowes), or contacting your state radon office. The EPA states “radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases, may be reduced.” It is recommended to mitigate (fix) your home if the levels are 4pCi/L or greater. Most radon reduction systems are affordable and 99%effective.
"Right now, the EPA suggests that people consider remediation procedures for counties with moderate radon exposure," Dr. Lauren Teras, lead researcher in the study, shares. It is critical for women to eliminate or at minimize their exposure to radon. No radon level is really a safe level. Get your homes tested!
For more information on radon and the remediation process visit the EPA website.