Sunday, September 21, 2014

Radon threat

1/24/2014

Sept. 10 always has been an especially happy day in our family. It was the day we were married and is the birthday of our youngest daughter, Karen.

It became a sad day last year because it was the day our oldest daughter, Beth, died of lung cancer. Beth was not a smoker and her cancer was attributed to radon, the radioactive gas created as uranium breaks down in the rocks and soil and accumulates in your basement. After her diagnosis, tests showed radon levels were dangerously high in her home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. The director of the Kansas State Engineering Extension says one in four homes in Kansas has an elevated radon risk.

Sept. 10 always has been an especially happy day in our family. It was the day we were married and is the birthday of our youngest daughter, Karen.

It became a sad day last year because it was the day our oldest daughter, Beth, died of lung cancer. Beth was not a smoker and her cancer was attributed to radon, the radioactive gas created as uranium breaks down in the rocks and soil and accumulates in your basement. After her diagnosis, tests showed radon levels were dangerously high in her home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. The director of the Kansas State Engineering Extension says one in four homes in Kansas has an elevated radon risk.

Gov. Sam Brownback declared January as Kansas Radon Action Month and the Department of Health and Education is supplying free kits that homeowners can use to detect their level of radon. K-State Extension offices also have kits for sale at a moderate price. If you test high, a certified technician can install a pump that will run 24/7 and rid your basement of this invisible killer.

Some progress is being made in the treatment of certain cancers, but lung cancer is not one of them. If you are trying to avoid lung cancer by not smoking, why not check for radon as well? Losing a child is a heart-breaker.

 

— Margaret and Don Anderson,

Winfield

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