Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
Blog: Radon causes lung cancer
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By RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall, Henry ad Stark County Health Departments
May 1, 2013 10 a.m.

The Environmental Health Division of the Henry and Stark County Health

Departments are calling attention to the fact that radon is the

second-leading cause of lung cancer overall and the leading cause of lung

cancer for non-smokers.

Dorothy David, Health Department Director of Environmental Health

Services, notes, "It really doesn't matter where you live in Illinois or

what type of home you live in, because we've seen excessive radon in every

county in Illinois, and in every type of home - old, new, with basements,

with a crawlspace or on a slab."

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that comes

from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. It

can enter homes and buildings through small cracks in the foundation, sump

pumps or soil in crawlspaces.

Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's

because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. \

The State of Illinois has enacted the Illinois Radon Awareness Act.

According to this law, anyone buying a home, condominium or other

residential property in Illinois must be provided with information about

indoor radon exposure and the fact that radon is the leading cause of lung

cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause overall.

Since radon gas is undetectable, specialized radon detectors must be

used to measure the amount of radon gas present in the air. You can

purchase test kits from your local home improvement, hardware store, or home

extension office. You may also call the Illinois Emergency Management

Agency (IEMA) Division of Nuclear Safety Radon Program at 1-800-325-1245 for

a list of laboratories that sell radon kits or visit their website at


The Health Department and state officials encourage anyone who discovers

their home has elevated levels of radon to contact a licensed radon

mitigation professional to correct the problem. Depending on the home,

radon mitigation can cost between $800-$1200. IEMA also has a list of

licensed radon reduction contractors who can fix your radon problem.

For more information on radon you can visit the our website at

www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County

Health Departments. Radon information is also available through IEMA at

their hotline number and at their website.

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