EPA News Radon Press Release: January is National Radon Action Month. A Home Improvement to Protect Your Family From Cancer in 2011

Top Quote The winter months trap us indoors, but could the air in your home be killing you? The Environmental Protection Agency sends a strong message about one of America's leading in-home killers: Radon. January has been designated "National Radon Action Month" to promote awareness of this cancer-causing gas. "All homes should be tested," states Radon Specialist James Gelina of Air Quality Control Agency End Quote
    QuoteRadon gas caused more deaths in 2010 than home fires and carbon monoxide combinedQuote
  • Worcester, MA-CT (1888PressRelease) January 04, 2011 - In response to new research that points to radon gas as the #1 cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General have proclaimed National Radon Action Month for January, 2011. Health agencies throughout the country have joined forces to promote awareness of this "silent killer" in hopes of preventing thousands of needless cancer deaths this year. "Radon gas is undetectable by human senses, so the only way that a homeowner can find out if there is a problem is to conduct a test," states Ross Aton, a NEHA Certified radon professional.

    The EPA and eight other federal agencies are announcing a new effort to strengthen the fight against radon exposure. Radon exposure is the leading cause of non-smoking lung cancer. Senior leaders from the federal agencies are pledging to work together to create a national risk reduction plan for radon that will help save lives and create safer, healthier homes for all Americans.

    "Radon is a serious public health threat that leads to more than 21,000 deaths each year," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "This new federal partnership will help Americans reduce their risk of radon exposure."

    Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas. One in 15 American homes contains high levels of radon. Millions of Americans are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. By taking simple steps to test your home for radon and fix if necessary, this health hazard can be avoided.

    If your home hasn't been tested for radon in the past two years, EPA and the 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 EPA, the General Services Administration, and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Veterans Affairs 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.

    At the end of January, the federal consortium will meet with key leaders in the public health, environmental and private sectors to begin shaping a national action plan that includes both immediate and long-term steps to reduce radon exposure. "The only way that the general public is going to become aware of this epidemic health threat is through government action," states Ben Ingalls, a radon mitigation specialist with Air Quality Control Agency.

    New building codes, EPA standards, and DEP regulations are putting more emphasis on indoor air quality and may prompt more class-action lawsuits and other judgments. Business owners are becoming more aware of air pollution liability as the media puts focus on consumer, employee, and customer complaints of indoor air quality violations leading to lung problems and other illnesses. Some government agencies can actually revoke an employer's business license for this type of negligence. "The simple fear of regulatory action, decertification, citations, fines, government de-licensing action, and even license revocation can scare a non-compliant business owner into getting their facility up to code," states Sean Freeman, Director of Compliance. "Strict enforcement and complying with indoor air assessment standards is the only way for an employer to avoid getting fined or sued." He also suggested that an officer of the company reviews their state's current requirements regarding indoor air pollution.

    Radon gas causes more deaths every year than fires and carbon monoxide combined. National Radon Action Month is the ideal time to take action and test your home, office, and school for this lurking menace. "Testing kits are readily available from local health departments and require just a few minutes to perform. It's a few minutes that could save your life," states Jeffery Finken of Accredited Radon Mitigation of Pennsylvania.

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