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Saturday 10 December 2022
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Radon Kills 21,000 Every Year, but Federal Radon Program in Jeopardy?

Healthcare And Medicine. Doctor using a digital tablet

President Donald Trump has indicated that he is not a fan of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Radon programs, and wishes to see the program cut from the federal budget. This opinion is shared by some scientists, who dismiss the program as “nonsense.”

The EPA’s radon programs are dedicated to making sure that homeowners know the dangers of the gas, which can be found in millions of homes. Radon can have extremely dangerous effects on individuals that get a heightened exposure to it, including an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

According to information by the EPA, the chances of developing lung cancer increase by 16% per 100Bq/m increase in long-term radon concentration.

In states across the country, radon levels are at dangerously high levels. That includes states like New York, whose southern tier region has a dangerously high radon level on average.

Press Connects tells the story of Joe Linnertz, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer even though he had never smoked a day in his life. He was also active and had no prior history of the disease in his family.

However, his family hadn’t considered the possibility of radon exposure being the cause of his mysterious cancer. Linnertz died just a few weeks after his diagnosis.

Living inside of a home that has a significant amount of radon in it is the equivalent to smoking two cigarettes a day for a year. And radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and lung cancer deaths, in the United states.

In the state of New York alone, between 900 and 1,000 people die of Radon-induced lung cancer every year, according to the EPA. And every year a total of 21,000 Americans will be killed by radon. The chances of surviving with lung-cancer from radon is very low, with less than 50% living a year, and less than 15% living for five years.

And a great many home sellers don’t pass their homes through testing before selling them, meaning that the levels of radon in the home are unknown to the buyer. This puts them at risk like Linnertz was.

“It’s probably a very small percentage of sellers who do (a radon test) before they get ready to sell homes,” said Terrie Burke, president of the Elmira Corning Board of Realtors.

With the potential for death looming over the heads of those that have too much radon in their homes, the decision to cut the EPA’s program could have far reaching implications.