Radon risk warning issued
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 7, 2005
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, MD, issued a national health advisory on Jan. 13 regarding the dangers of breathing indoor radon. The advisory urges Americans to prevent this silent radioactive gas from seeping into their homes and buildings at dangerous levels.
"Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country," said Dr. Carmona. More than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer every year, according to the health advisory.
"Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques," he noted. Dr. Carmona recommended testing homes for radon every two years and retesting when structural changes are made.
The Environmental Protection Agency has also joined in promoting the advice and estimates that one in every 15 homes nationwide has a radon level at or above the recommended radon action level of 4 picocuries per liter of air.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/02/07/hlbf0207.htm.