Newsroom > DHHS News Release

This news release sent on behalf of the State Board of Health.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 20, 2010

CONTACT

Monica Gissler, Health Program Manager, (402) 471-2948 or monica.gissler@nebraska.gov

January is Radon Action Month

Lincoln—In recognition of National Radon Action Month, the Nebraska Board of Health proclaims that radon is a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Nebraska is third in the nation for the prevalence of radon, and approximately 60 percent of tests conducted in the state yield radon levels above the accepted value.

In recognizing the risks associated with indoor radon exposure, the Board of Health joins the ranks of other health-related offices, such as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Medical Association in calling attention to this public health danger for Nebraskans.

The Board feels that more should be done to educate Nebraskans about the health risks of radon exposure, the amount of radon in Nebraska, the ability to test for radon in homes, and how to get rid of radon. Increased education is necessary to improve the number of radon tests conducted, which is a first step toward increasing the number of homes where radon is controlled, the actual risk-reducing action. Currently, approximately 8 percent of Nebraska’s housing has been tested for radon, and only 20 percent of homes tested have a removal system installed.

In addition to encouraging removal systems for existing homes, the Board recognizes that incorporating radon-reducing features during a home’s construction is both an inexpensive and efficient way to reduce risk. Education for builders, code officials and homebuyers is needed to increase awareness about Radon Resistant New Construction and encourage its use.

In summary, radon is a dangerous environmental cancer-causing agent that is easily detected and controlled. Exposure to radon is easily prevented at a small cost, particularly when compared to the high cost of treatment for lung cancer and the losses from deaths associated with radon. The State Board of Health recognizes these facts about radon and encourages more activity to educate Nebraskans.


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