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January is Radon Awareness Month–Know the Risks

The EPA estimates that as many as 20,000 people die of radon-induced lung cancer every year and is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon-induced lung cancer costs Americans $2 billion per year in healthcare costs.

The burst of Alpha radiation given off by radon which damages our cells is the same radiation emitted by plutonium. The EPA recommends remediation of radon levels over 4.0 pCi/L but no level of exposure is safe.

A family whose house has a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L is being exposed to 35 times more radiation than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows on the edge of a radioactive waste site.

A school student spending 8 hours per day for 180 days per year in a classroom with 4.0 pCi/L of radon will receive 10 times the exposure to radiation as is allowed at a nuclear power plant.

Risk of death for radon at 4.0 pCi/L is approximately 1 in 100. That means that at the EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L action level, radon has 1000 times the risk of death as any other carcinogen.

Know the risks and know your number. Get your home tested and urge your schools and work places to test as well. Radon is one problem that you can solve.