January is National Radon Action Month.

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that can be found in your home in dangerously high levels without you knowing it, since you cannot see, smell or taste radon. If you have well water, it also can be found there.

If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, you’re at high risk for developing lung cancer.

Some scientific studies of radon exposure indicate that children may be more sensitive to radon than adults, perhaps because of their higher respiration rate and their rapidly dividing cells, which may be more vulnerable to radiation damage.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year.

I was not aware of the dangers of radon until I got sick with lung cancer and had my home and water tested. To my surprise, I was being exposed to radon gas way above the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits.


The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. surgeon general urge all Americans to test their homes for radon. If a high radon level is detected, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family. Visit www.epa.gov/radon/nram for details.

Deb Violette, advocate

National Lung Cancer Partnership

[email protected]

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