Go Back

Radon second-leading cause of lung cancer

Date Published: 01/01/2020 [Source]

Radon, an odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive gas, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and your home is far from immune to it. Each year, approximately 21,000 deaths occur in the U.S. due to hidden radon. That is why January is National Radon Action Month, a month dedicated to making the public aware of the deadly effects of radon.

Radon is a gas that forms naturally from the decay of uranium found in soil and various rocks, including granite, which is pervasive in the north Georgia landscape. Radon, which can seep into homes through cracks and gaps in the foundation, can be found in all types of homes, including those on slabs, basements and crawlspaces. It also can contaminate well water. Fortunately, the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension can help you detect elevated radon levels in your home.

Detecting radon is easily done through a radon test kit or a professional radon testing service.

"I like to ask people, 'Do you have a smoke detector?' Almost everybody says, 'yes'," said Derek Cooper, UGA Extension radon educator. "In the U.S. about 3,000 people die from house fires each year. But if I ask someone if they have tested for radon, they usually say, 'no,' and about 21,000 people a year die from radon-induced lung cancer. Doing a radon test is just as easy as having a smoke detector. Radon is a problem that can be found and be fixed."