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Leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers

January 2014 has been declared “National Radon Action Month” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Health agencies throughout the United States have joined forces to promote awareness of the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers. The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and National Caner Institute all agree that radon is a national health problem and encourage radon testing during the January awareness drive.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas. One in 15 American homes contain high levels of radon. Millions of American are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. In fact, a recent study by Harvard University ranks radon as America’s leading in-home hazard. By taking simple steps to test your home for radon and fix if necessary, this health hazard can be avoided.

Radon gas is not isolated to certain geographical areas or home types. Radon problems have been detected in homes in every county of the U.S. It caused more American fatalities last year than carbon monoxide, fires and handguns combined. If a home hasn’t been tested for radon in the past two years, the EPA and Surgeon General urge you to take action. Contact your state radon office for information on locating qualified test kits or qualified radon testers.

The federal commitment made by the EPA, the General Services Administration and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Veterans Affair will focus efforts on radon reduction and mitigation in homes, especially those of low-income families, many of whom do not have the resources to make the simple fixes necessary to protect their homes and loved ones.

Last year, the federal consortium met with key leaders in the pubic health, environmental and private sectors to launch the federal radon action plan that include both immediate and long-term steps to reduce radon exposure.

Learn more about National Radon Action Month at www.radonmonth.org.

This story was posted on January 2, 2014.