To the Editor:
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and while most are aware that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, not everyone recognizes that prolonged exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In fact, radon-related lung cancers are responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
Radon is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas found in rocks and soil. It is a natural gas emitted from the ground that forms radioactive byproducts. When radon builds up to dangerous levels inside, it could be inhaled and eventually can damage tissue inside your lungs and cause lung cancer. Radon enters your home, school or office building through cracks in the foundation or even through pipes and/or the water supply. People with private wells are more at risk than people with community water supply. By sealing your home to keep radon outside, you can significantly reduce your home’s radon levels. Testing your home is the best way to find out whether you are being exposed to high levels of radon. The Lung Association sells radon kits for only $12, available at www.LungNE.org/products or by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA.
As we work to raise awareness and find better treatments and cures for lung cancer, knowledge is power. The Lung Association’s website offers a wealth of information about radon, lung cancer and lung disease so you are armed with the information you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Visit us at LungNE.org for more.
Jeff Seyler, president & CEO,
American Lung Association of the Northeast