RODERICK L. BREMBY, SECRETARY

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K  A  N  S  A  S


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, GOVERNOR

For Immediate Release
January 3, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

EPA American Lung Association KDHE Logo

January is National Radon Action Month

The American Lung Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, and Kansas Department of Health and Environment are urging residents to take a stand to protect their families by testing their homes for an odorless, colorless, tasteless pollutant that can cause lung cancer. That pollutant, radon gas, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the first leading cause of lung cancer in individuals who have never smoked. EPA estimates that 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are radon-related.

Radon is going undetected in homes across the country. It causes no immediate health symptoms, but long-term exposure can be deadly. EPA estimates that as many as one in 15 homes across the U.S. has elevated radon levels. Some areas have higher levels than others. Kansas radon measurement data currently shows approximately 1 out of every 2.5 measurements performed in Kansas are elevated (13,038 out of 32,761 measurements).

Simple test kits can reveal the amount of radon in any building. Those with high levels can be fixed with simple and affordable venting techniques. Topeka and Manhattan building codes require new homes to be built using radon-resistant techniques, and additional cities in Kansas are considering this modification to their building codes. Testing is critical, because it is the only way to know if a building has significant concentrations of radon.

Radon test kits can be obtained by contacting your Kansas county extension office or calling the American Lung Association at (800) LUNGUSA (586-4872). They can also be purchased at many local hardware and builder’s supply stores. A list of certified testers and radon mitigation contractors is also available from the state program office by calling the Kansas Radon Hotline: 1-800-693-KDHE (693-5343).

The American Lung Association HelpLine is an excellent source of clear and accurate information on radon and other lung health issues. The HelpLine is unique in having professional, credentialed staff qualified to answer questions. Free counseling with registered nurses, respiratory therapists and quit-smoking specialists is available by calling (800) LUNGUSA (586-4872) . The line is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST.TTY for hearing impaired is available at (800) 501-1068.

Additional information about radon can be obtained from the state radon program Web site at http://radon.oznet.ksu.edu/ and on EPA’s Web site at www.epa.gov/radon.

Note to reporters, editors and news directors: Radon Action Month public service announcements and advertisements for television, radio, newspapers and magazines can be downloaded from the KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov until the end of January. Click the link under the National Radon Action Month image to access these resources.

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