Radon success story

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Radon success story

  1. 1. Utah Cancer Action Network Primary PreventionREDUCING THE RISK FACTORSTHAT LEAD TO CANCER SuccessEver heard of someone who has lung cancer, but has never smoked? The Utah County HealthDepartment, Habitat for Humanity Utah County, and the Utah Department of Environmental Qualityaim to reduce lung cancer caused by exposure to radon gas.Teaching the Publicabout Radon GasOf course, not everyone whose home has The Utah County Health Departmenthigh levels of radon gas will get lung (UCHD) and Habitat for Humanity of Utahcancer, just like not all smokers will get County are partnering with the Utahlung cancer. But, if there is a gas inside Department of Environmental Qualityyour home that you know can cause lung (DEQ), Division of Radiation Control.cancer, would you want to roll the dice and Their goal is to increase public awarenesssee if your number comes up? of radon and the relationship between indoor radon gas and lung cancer. TheyWhat is radon gas? Most people have heard encourage Radon Resistant Newof carbon monoxide gas, but not radon. Construction (RRNC) because it’s easier toRadon is an odorless, colorless, gas and is install a system when you are building athe second leading cause of lung cancer home than to retrofit an existing home.(behind smoking). It is a naturally occurring They encourage those who haven’t testedradioactive gas that comes from uranium their apartment or home to do so by How radon enters a house. Image courtesy ofdecay in rocks and soil. offering education and low-cost test kits. Natural Resources Canada. They also recommend actions to take when test results are high (over 4.0 pCi/L). Continued on other side Do you have a success story? Members of the Utah Cancer Action Network do great work that results in fewer cancer cases, fewer cancer-related deaths, and a better quality of life—and we want to hear about it! Submit a one-page success story about a project your organization has worked on, and each month we’ll feature a different story on the UCAN website (www.UCAN.cc). To find out how to submit your story, contact Kristi Smith at 801.538.6190 or kwilcoxson@utah.gov.
  2. 2. Radon is the second R AISING leading cause of lung A WARENESS ABOUT R ADON cancer Researchers estimate radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year1. Continued from front page installs radon mitigation materials about radon to Together DEQ, UCHD, and systems in any existing increase public awareness of Habitat for Humanity of Utah homes it renovates. what radon gas is and how to County promote radon test homes for it. awareness through several Habitat for Humanity activities. educates the public through a The UCHD sold 93 test kits The Utah County radon display in their Restore as of January 2012. They Health Department, The DEQ’s Radon Restyle store during National don’t just sell test kits, but Habitat for Humanity of Information Specialist, Radon Awareness Month spend time educating those Utah County, and Utah Christine Keyser, trained 13 (January), and stocks low- who purchase them. Staff Department of agents from Coldwell Banker cost test kits and educational demonstrate how to use a test Environmental Quality Real Estate in Orem in an brochures year-round. As of kit, explain what a radon all put a lot of time and RRNC continuing education January 2012, Habitat for mitigation system is and how Humanity had sold 146 test it is installed, and provide a effort into this project. course. To find out more about kits. list of certified radon mitigators. Staff also any of the activities “We encourage them here, please contact UCHD’s Environmental provided education materials [realtors] to test the one of the following: Health Educator, Andrea to 700 parents in the Eagle homes they sell for Jensen, gave four Mountain area. radon gas. What an Utah County Health presentations about the added bonus to know Department National Radon Poster The DEQ and UCHD that your real estate Contest to area elementary participated in Capitol Steps Andrea Jensen, agent is looking out schools, reaching a total of to Action, a radon education (801) 851-7509 for your health!” - Christine Keyser 628 students. She sent a note rally on the steps of the Utah home with each student, State Capitol. Two local Habitat for Humanity of Radon testing is not required encouraging parents to test television stations covered Utah County in Utah for a real estate their home for radon. They the event. Kena Matthews transaction. received 20 posters for the (801) 344-8527 x 103 contest. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Utah Cancer Connection Habitat for Humanity of place winners statewide included a radon article, Utah Department of Utah County’s Executive receive cash awards, and the Boogey Man in Your Environmental Quality Director, Kena Matthews, overall state winner receives Basement, in the January Christine Keyser says the organization is $500 for their school. 2012 issue. The article (801) 536-0091 building all of its homes included the story of a radon resistant, and also The UCHD also distributed woman who died of lung more than 1,000 educational cancer caused by radon.The Environmental Protection Agency provides state and local organizations with ideas forseveral educational activities in the National Radon Action Month Event Planning Kit. Ideasinclude: Energize partners and stakeholders by building a radon coalition or recognizing radon champions Engage with community leaders by asking the mayor to issue a radon proclamation or connecting with local businesses and utilities to promote radon awareness Work with the media to promote radon awareness by writing a press release, opinion editorial, or letter to the editorFor these ideas and many, many, more check out the National Radon Action Month EventPlanning Kit online at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pdfs/nram/event_planning_kit.pdf.1 Environmental Protection Agency. Health Risks. Radon. Accessed April 19, 2012 at http://www.epa.gov/radon/healthrisks.html.

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