The U.S. Surgeon General Issues Health Advisory on Radon Gas

Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S. and is a serious health risk in Nebraska

The health risks associated with high levels of radon gas exposure are well-documented by the Surgeon General of the United States, the EPA, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services. Radon is known to be the #2 cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the #1 cause for non-smokers. Radon poisoning and regular exposure does not cause common symptoms like headaches, nausea, or vomiting that are regularly attributed to other pollutants.

US Surgeon General's Warning and Letter on Radon explains how radon is a leading cause of lung cancer.

Credit: epa.gov

What Are The Health Risks of Radon Exposure?

The Environmental Protection Agency classified radon as a human carcinogen in 1988.

  • You cannot see, smell, or taste radon gas.
  • Smokers who are exposed to radon will significantly increase their chance of developing lung cancer.
  • Over 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer each year.
  • Breathing radon gas is a greater health risk than ingesting water that contains radon.
  • Radon poses a greater health risk to children than to adults.

The U.S. office of the Surgeon General recommends that all houses be tested for radon. Typically most houses are tested for radon at the time of sale, but radon should be tested periodically, as levels can change over time depending on changing outdoor conditions, and usage habits of below-grade indoor space.

While any exposure to radon can be considered potentially damaging, the EPA recommends that homeowners aim for radon levels below 2 picocuries per liter (2pCi/L).

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Radon Exposure in Nebraska

According to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services there is a high prevalence of radon in homes. 1 out of every 2 tests done in the state show elevated levels.

Radon Concentration Map by Nebraska County
Credit: dhhs.ne.gov

 

Learn More About Radon Health Effects & What You Can Do

There are government resources to help you further understand the health effects and what you can do to prevent dangerous radon exposure.

 

 

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