Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2012
 
CONTACT
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9356
Leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov
 
Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/audio/
 
Local Radon Projects Underway
January is Radon Action Month
 
Lincoln— Sixteen local projects covering 73 counties across the state are informing Nebraskans about the dangers of radon, a cancer-causing gas.
 
“The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health has had a statewide Radon Program for many years now, and we have found that local organizations are very effective at raising awareness,” said Sara Morgan, Indoor Air Quality Program Manager with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.  “Local projects are a great way to increase outreach efforts.”
 
January is Radon Action Month and an opportune time for Nebraskans to test for radon in their homes, according to Morgan. Radon levels are at their highest during winter months. 
 
“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for people who have never smoked,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer.  “It is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is present in most Nebraska homes.  Everyone should test their homes to determine if they have a high level of radon.”
 
Because radon is radioactive, it is very damaging to lung tissue when people breathe it in.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year are due to radon exposure, second only to tobacco-related lung cancer deaths. 
 
To help get the word out about radon, grants have been awarded to local organizations.  Many of these local projects involve informing Nebraskans about the dangers of radon, and in some cases, distributing free radon test kits to encourage people to conduct a radon test—the only way to know what radon levels are in their homes.  To find out if there is a local radon project near you, go to: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/radon_projects.aspx
 
NDHHS recommends that homes with radon levels at 4 pCi/L or more be fixed to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.  Most homes can be successfully fixed using a standard radon mitigation system.  A list of trained professionals is available at: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/radon_mitigation.aspx
 
For more information, call the Nebraska Radon Hotline at 1-800-334-9491. 
 
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