Please Test for Radon to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Lung Cancer

Do you know what the second leading cause of lung cancer is, after smoking? It’s radon, an odorless gas that can seep into your home. Because it cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled, it can be easy to forget.

The fact is, though, that EPA, the U.S. Surgeon General, and multiple leading public health advocates have all announced that about 21,000 Americans each year die from radon-induced lung cancer. That should make headlines, right? You would expect people to demand that something be done to stop it from happening. The threat from radon is real and we make the announcement each year during National Radon Action Month. Many of our families have been tragically impacted by lung disease, and lung cancer is a heartbreaking diagnosis.

Testing is the only way to know if your family’s home has elevated radon. Nationally, one in 15 homes are above the level at which the U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend taking action, which is four picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. In many parts of the country high levels are even more common.

For most people, “pCi/L of air” is an unfamiliar term and it might make the test sound intimidating and complicated. While the term is complicated, the test is not. There are many kinds of low-cost “do-it-yourself” radon test kits you can buy online or at hardware stores. You can also hire a qualified tester to do the testing for you. You can get a list of qualified testers in your area by contacting your state radon office. If you’ve tested and found elevated radon levels, fix your home. The cost of a home mitigation system is comparable to other common home repairs, like replacing one or two windows or your garage door. The systems are durable and can protect anyone who lives in the house in the future.

I urge to you take this simple test this month. Don’t let radon sneak up on you and take you by surprise. Many environmental issues are complicated, but here is one with a simple solution.

Test. Fix. Save a Life.

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