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Health department stresses radon awareness

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PAPILLION – It’s something that can be deadly, but also preventable.

And, what better time for prevention than during Radon Awareness Week.

“Radon is an odorless and invisible radioactive gas naturally released from rocks, soil and water,” said Moises Morales, spokeswoman for the Sarpy/Cass Health Department. “Radon can get into homes or buildings through holes or small cracks. Over time, breathing in high levels of radon can cause lung cancer.”

She added that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. “Anyone can develop lung cancer from long-term exposure to high levels of radon,” Morales said. “Testing your home is the only way to know if radon levels are high. You can do this by hiring a licensed radon measurement professional or purchasing a radon test kit from local hardware stores and home centers and doing it yourself.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends contacting a licensed professional to install a radon reduction system if the radon level is at or above 4 pCi/L of air, Morales said.

“This year for Radon Awareness Week, take action by testing your home and raising awareness about risks related to long-term exposure to high levels of radon,” she said. “To learn more about radon, where to find licensed radon measurement businesses in Nebraska, and other resources, visit our website at”


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