Radon: A Silent Cancer Causing Killer

The Nursing Division of the Livingston Health Department Presents

Radon: A Silent Cancer Causing Killer



There may be a silent and stealthy cancer causing killer lurking in your home.  Sound impossible?  It’s not.  When was the last time, if ever, you had your home checked for radon?  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) radon is a scentless, tasteless, radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.  Lung cancer may be treatable, debilitating, or deadly.  Reducing and/or eliminating risks for cancer, should be considered an utmost priority.

So, where does this cancer causing element come from?  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas.  It is the result of uranium in soil breaking down.  Radon can be found in any home or building.  It can be present in not only in the ground/soil, but also groundwater and even basic building materials.  This odorless, tasteless, and invisible radioactive gas typically enters residences via small openings where the home meets the ground.  Cracks in the foundation, around pipes, and through sump-pump pits are all area in which radon may enter a building.

The EPA has identified that the primary route of potential human exposure is inhalation.  This means if radon is present in your home, every breath you take is promoting the growth of cancer in your body.    Fortunately, radon testing is easy and inexpensive. Once identified, radon repairs can be made, and the radon problem fixed.  More often than not, a radon related repair costs no more than any other typical home repair.  The EPA recommends all homes should be tested for radon by a qualified tester obtained via your state radon office.  You may also contact a private radon proficiency program for lists of privately certified radon professionals serving your area.

If you would like more information on radon or the assistance of a radon specialist, please visit www.njradon.org or call the toll-free information line at 1-800-648-0394.  Free testing procedures and information packets are available upon request.  The information provided has been brought to you by the Livingston Health Department Nursing Division in conjunction with EPA http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html.

For further educational information contact Ashley Messer, RN/Health Educator at the Livingston Nursing Department (973)-535-7961 x227.