Kentuckians at greater risk of high Radon exposure
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - January is Radon Awareness Month, and although the month is coming to a close, it’s important to keep radon in the conversation year-round.
If you don’t know what radon is, it’s a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that emanates from the ground, and depending on the geology of where you live in Kentucky and the construction of your house, you could be putting yourself at risk of lung cancer, without even knowing it.
“We actually lead the nation in new lung cancer cases, as well as death from lung cancer,” said professor at UK College of Nursing, Dr. Ellen Hahn. So it’s a significant problem in Kentucky, and we have higher radon exposure here too, because of the nature of our bedrock.”
22% of all new lung cancer cases in Kentucky every year are caused by radon.
“We just have the right combination of rocks, soils and weather that move the radon a certain way in parts of our state to really amplify the risk, but then also your house and how it’s constructed and how it’s ventilated has a significant role as well,” said Dr. William Andrews with the Kentucky Geological Survey.
The construction of each home is different. So doctors say they can’t stress enough how important and easy it is to just spend $10-$15 and purchase a radon test kit for your home.
“Even if your neighbor has low radon, you might have high radon because the soil and rock beneath your home really varies, so it’s important that everyone tests,” Dr. Hahn. “Testing is easy, and there is no reason not to test your home.”
In cases like this, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when something as simple as testing your house could save your lungs down the line.
You can contact your local health department for testing kits or go to radon.ky.gov for more information.
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