National Radon Action Month advising people living in areas of high concentration to have their homes tested.
Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) issued notice today that January 2011 is National Radon Action Month and advised especially those living in areas of high concentration to have their homes tested.
Radon has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the President's Cancer Panel and the World Health Organization as the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Alliance President & CEO, Laurie Fenton-Ambrose said that international studies are adding to the growing body of evidence of the serious health risk associated with exposure to radon, which may account for 15% of lung cancers.
Radon occurs naturally in the radioactive decay of uranium in the soil, rock and water and can collect undetected in confined areas in buildings such as basements and attics. The gas itself further decays into radioactive solids that can latch on to dust particles and enter the lungs through respiration.
Since radon is a colorless and odorless gas, special testing kits must be purchased to determine the levels of concentration, which are measure in picocurlies per liter of air (pCi/L).
The national average for outdoor radon is 4 pCi/L and EPA recommends any building or home testing above that level should be fitted with venting systems and other remedial measures to reduce the level. WHO, however, recently reduced its acceptable level to 2.7 pCi/L.
In 1988, Congress passed the Indoor Radon Reduction Act (IRRA) which authorized over $80 million in matching grants for states to encourage construction companies and realtor's to test buildings and homes for radon before title transfers.
However, voluntary compliance has resulted in less than 3% of homes with radon reducing features in place.
In 2009 LCA wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson urging her to develop a better strategy and increase public awareness of the issue. For additional information on radon and testing kits please go to: www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html.
Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org, is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to patient support and advocacy for people living with, or at risk for, lung cancer. Lung Cancer Alliance is committed to leading the movement to reverse decades of stigma and neglect by empowering those with or at risk for the disease, elevating awareness, and changing health policy.