Radon

Why Test? 
 
Testimonials of real people who wished they would of had a radon test prior to buying their homes.
 

Dennie Edwards   Elyria, OH

         In April of 2004, I had a very bad cold, so my doctor performed a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia.  I've never smoked, so you can imagine how shocked I was that he found a 4.5 centimeter mass in my left lung.

     Even though I've been a real estate agent for 31 years, I had never bothered to test my house for radon. I always informed my clients that radon testing prior to purchase was an option (to protect my liability), but truthfully, I really didn't care if they tested or not.

     Now I had to wonder whether my lung cancer had been caused by radon exposure.  While the doctor scheduled my surgery, I scheduled a radon test. The result was 10 pCi/l, (two and a half times the EPA's recommended Action Level).  I had lived in the home for 12 years. Needless to say, I called a contractor to have a mitigation system installed.

     Two days later I had surgery. I thought I was surely going to die. When I woke up choking with tubes in my throat, panic set in. They had removed my entire left lung.

     I'm getting better. I can walk up to a mile. But, I can no longer dance, lift things, or exert myself. My clients now get a very personal testimonial about the importance of testing for radon.

     I enjoy playing the guitar and cooking for my two sisters.

Angela M. Riley   Slippery Rock, PA

        I am a recently divorced mother of  two girls, eight year-old Melissa and five year-old  Julia. I am also a former nurse, so I know the importance of taking care of one's health.  I never smoked or worked around smoke.

     I first went to see my doctor in late May of 2003 because I was wheezing. He left message on my answering machine on a Friday that something was wrong, but I had to wait until  Monday to find out they had found a small tumor in my lung. I had surgery in July to remove a quarter of my lung.  I am very fortunate they caught it in time.

     Not knowing how in the world I could have developed lung cancer, I tested my house for radon and discovered my girls and I had been living in a very high concentration of 55 pCi/l. I also discovered my neighbor, who died of lung cancer in late 2002, had been living in over 70 pCi/l!

     I'm getting stronger and I love to walk and play with my children

 

 

Joe Linnertz   Waterloo, IL

 

    On Nov. 2, 2005, my husband, Joe had a blood test that showed his liver enzymes where elevated.  After more tests on Dec 27, we found that he had lung cancer that had spread to his liver and bones. We asked the doctor what causes lung cancer and he said smoking and radon gas.  We didn’t know what radon was and Joe hadn’t smoked for 27 years.  Joe died on February 8, 2006

     I checked the Internet and saw I could buy a radon test kit at the hardware store.  Our home tested 11.2  pCi/L, and we have lived in this house for 18 years.  The house has now been mitigated and tests at 1.1 pCi/L.

      If we had just known about this silent killer and if someone had told us of its deadly power and how easy it is to test and mitigate, we would have done it.  Only a test can determine if you are living in a high level radon environment, and-often-only a test can determine if you are living with early stage cancer.

     Joe was a gentle, brave, faithful and courageous man and decided he didn’t want the chemotherapy and would let God take him when He was ready.  Joe was my light and my strength.

     About 2 or 3 weeks after Joe died, I prayed to God to give me a purpose for my life.  I got my answer very quickly.  I will dedicate the rest of my life to radon reform and education.

...Gloria Linnertz

Elizabeth Hoffmann    Milwaukee, WI

     I was diagnosed with lung cancer, Stage IIIA (had not metastasized) September, 2003 at age 37. I never smoked, nor was there any family history of lung cancer. Our home, of 15+ years tested at 8.6 pico-Curies per liter. I underwent surgery to remove the mass and lower left lobe followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Treatments were completed March of 2004. Currently, I am undergoing blood and CT Scans every three months to monitor possible reoccurrence.

     I am married to a terrific guy for over 15 years. My husband received a chest X-ray that came back clean. We have no children, but are proud Aunt and Uncle to our six nieces and nephews. I enjoy every day and look forward to many more. My goal is to celebrate my seventieth birthday. I will do everything I can to help spread the importance of radon testing so no one else will hear the words, “you have cancer” (due to radon exposure).

      Enjoy life. Never take anyone or anything for granted.

 

 

Julia Harris   1944-2004   Winterville, GA

     Julia was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in September of 2003.  She had never smoked a cigarette in her life, but she found out too late she and her husband Jack had been living in elevated radon concentrations for nearly 19 years.

     In March of 2004, lung cancer took her life. It didn’t have to.  If testing her home for radon were required for a mortgage, chances are Julia would still be with us.

     A wife, a mother and a grandmother she is sorely missed.  Says Jack, her husband of 43 years, “Who’s going to be there when I wake up every morning? The reality is it’s something you gotta live with.  You can’t make it go away because you wish it to.”

     Every year 20,000-30,000 Americans die from exposure to radon. Says oncologist Doctor Lane Price, “Thirty thousand deaths is a drop in the bucket unless your loved one is one of those thirty thousand.  Then it’s your whole bucket.”

     On behalf of Julia and the 59 other Americans who die each day from radon-induced lung cancer, CSAR asks for your leadership with the battle against this silent, invisible killer.

 

Ann Cosper   Huntsville, AL

     I’ve never smoked a cigarette, can’t stand to be around them. So, a friend told me a lot of times, when people lose a lung, it’s because they’ve been exposed to radon.  That’s why I decided to have my house checked. It tested at 11.7 pCi/l.

 

     The only thing they could attribute to causing my lung cancer is the fact I had radon in my home – and didn’t know it.  When I learned that radon likely brought this on I was petrified.  I felt so helpless.

 

     There is no way I can stress enough to the public how important it is to have your radon checked. Then you will not have to go through what I’ve had to go through – losing a lung to radon.

 

 

 

Sue Michael -2005 New Castle, PA

 

     I was at greater risk for radon exposure because I was a stay at home mom for 25 years. My husband Bob and I didn’t want latch key kids, we wanted me there when the kids came home, to greet them and to say hello, how was your day? We discovered after it was too late, we’d been living in a radon concentration of 6.8 pCi/l. We’ve never smoked.

 

    When I went to the oncologist (in May 2003), I knew that it was in the lungs, the liver and some of the lymph nodes. And then I found out it was also in the bones in three different places. When the doctor told us it was 8-10 months, my oldest daughter said at least I’d be here for Christmas.

     Says Bob, ‘When you’ve been with a woman for 38 years, its tough. To all of a sudden to find out she’s got something that can take her away from you…it’s difficult.

(Sue passed away in September 2005).

  

 

 

Bob Adams   Huntsville, AL

     My house has a full finished basement that tested three to four times higher than the EPA’s Radon Action Level.  Since we had such a high reading and I’ve lived here such a long time, it was reasonable to suspect that radon was the cause of my lung cancer because I hadn’t smoked a cigarette in over 50 years.  Fortunately for me they caught it in time making surgery an option.

 

 
Radon is a Cancer - Causing, Radioactive Gas:
 
   You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it may still be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
 
You Should Test For Radon:
 
  Testing is the only way to find out your home`s radon levels. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.
 
If You Are Selling a Home...
 
EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test results and all information you have about steps that were taken to fix any problems. This could be a positive selling point.
 
If You Are Buying a Home...
 
  EPA recommends that you know what the indoor radon level is in any home you consider buying. Ask the seller for their radon test results. If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for any information they have about the system.
 
  If the home has not yet been tested, you should have the house tested.
 
  If you are having a new home built, there are features that can be incorporated into your home during construction to reduce radon levels that are relatively inexpensive.
 
  EPA also recommends testing a home in the lowest level which is currently suitable for occupancy, since a buyer may choose to live in a lower area of the home than that is currently being used by the seller.
 
Why Should I Test For Radon?
  Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon can also enter your home through well water. Your home can trap radon inside.
  Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.
  Nearly one out of of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). 1 out of 2 homes in the state of Ohio have elevated radon levels.
 
Epa and the Surgeon General Recommend That You Test Your Home
 
  Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the thrid floor for radon.
 
U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory
 
  "Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It`s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques." January 2005
For more information or to get a free copy of the citizens guide from the E.P.A. just log on to http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html
 
 
 
 
 Autism Awareness
  Steps Consulting
StepsConsulting.org