2008-01-23 / Fields & Yields

Family & Consumer Science News

January is National Radon Action Month
By Terri Black County Extension Agent

Can you guess the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States? If you guessed smoking, you are correct! Do you know the second leading cause? Radon gas probably wasn't your first guess. Radon gas is indeed the second leading cause of lung cancer overall, and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. In Georgia, about 600 people will die every year as a result of radon gas exposure.

Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in rocks and soils.

It enters homes through cracks and other openings in home foundations. Radon is the result of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. Uranium takes a long time to decay, and radon gas is one of the last stages.

Testing your home for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive. You can buy test kits at hardware and home improvement stores or directly from radon testing companies for under $25. Through an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant, a limited number of complimentary radon test kits are available from your local county extension office.

To learn more about radon or to receive a complimentary test kit, contact the Burke County Extension Office at (706) 554-2119.

Source: The Georgia Radon Education Program, www.gafamilies.com/housing/ radon

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