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Tuesday, November 25th by Cody Wren
State health officials in North Carolina have developed a six-year plan that includes specific strategies to help fight the six forms of cancer that are most prevalent in the state.
Lung cancer is one of the diseases discussed in the report. Common causes of lung cancer include cigarette smoke, secondhand smoke, and radon gas.
Dr. Ruth Peterson of the Department of Health and Human Services recently spoke with North Carolina Public Radio about the importance of generating awareness of risk factors - one of these risks being prolonged exposure to radon. "So North Carolina has radon in some parts of its geography, so it's important to test homes especially in those areas for radon."
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless radioactive gas that is found naturally in soil. If radon enters the home and high concentrations are present, breathing in this gas can eventually lead to lung cancer. It is estimated that more than 20,000 cancer deaths each year are caused by radon gas exposure.
High radon levels have been found in many areas throughout North Carolina and every home is prone to having some level of radon gas. Conducting a radon test is the only way to determine your risk and whether mitigation is necessary.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The EPA recommends that homes with radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L be mitigated to reduce the amount of radon in the air to a safe level.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services provides free radon test kits to families with children who are 1 year old or younger.
If a radon test shows high radon levels, the next step is to hire a radon mitigation contractor. Contact National Radon Defense to schedule a radon test and/or request an estimate to have a radon mitigation system installed in your home.