Even Amidst a Decreasing EPA Budget Radon Protection Must Continue
Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), speaks about the President's recent plan to cut 13% of the EPA's funds. However, we must keep in mind it's up to everyone to protect against the effects of radon exposure. Is lung cancer in your proposed budget? Can an individual's actions toward radon testing and radon abatement make the EPA's efforts less effective?
On February 15 of this year, Jackson voiced her opinion of the newly proposed budget saying, "He's [Obama's] made sure that EPA can continue to safeguard the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places where we build our homes, and that the American people will continue to get the protections they deserve."
Although on March 3 she said that the current budget cut, though severe, still allows for the EPA to perform its major responsibilities, and at this point the EPA cannot endure further cuts.
So, if Congress slashed EPA's funding, concentrations of harmful pollution would increase from current levels in the places Americans live, work, go to school, fish, hike, and hunt. The result would be more asthma attacks, more missed school and workdays, more heart attacks, more cancer cases, more premature deaths, and more polluted waters.
With that, can you imagine what the world would be like without the help and protection of the EPA? The EPA has been the major contributor toward raising awareness about the dangers of radon exposure. Jackson isn't exaggerating when she says the overall health across the U.S. would plummet without the EPA's fulfillment of its responsibilities, which unfortunately does cost money. Just as the EPA has a responsibility to the citizens of this country, we each have a responsibility to those living within our homes and this responsibility is ours, the EPA has done their part in regard to radon. The EPA cannot remove radon from each grain of uranium in soil. So, it's up to us to test our homes, contact radon abatement experts to evaluate the levels, and notify our friends, our bosses, our co-workers, and anyone else about the importance of radon testing. Information is available, but it's up to us to make the decision.
Do you need to re-evaluate your budget? If you don't want an expert to come out to your home, purchase a do-it-yourself test kit. If the results come back at or above the EPA's recommended action level, you have a choice to make. If you choose against mitigation, you've chosen that the efforts of the EPA aren't in fact as necessary as they feel and express to our government. You've chosen to make a potential investment in treating instead of preventing lung cancer.
Can the EPA withstand further budget cuts? Of course not. Now let's not give the wrong impression. Radon is a serious problem, and the EPA works extremely hard to inform homeowners of its dangers. The EPA is a wonderful lifeline we're all thankful to have, let's hope their budget remains intact.