Estimated 400 Deaths Per Year In Iowa Are Caused By Radon-Induced Lung Cancer
The average indoor radon concentration in Iowa is more than six times the national average
An estimated 400 deaths per year in Iowa are caused by radon-induced lung cancer. That is approximately the number of Iowans who die in traffic accidents each year. All of Iowa's 99 counties have the highest potential for radon levels and is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Gail Orcutt, who contracted lung cancer in 2010 from exposure to radon and has had major health struggles ever since. Orcutt has also become an advocate for radon testing and mitigation systems in homes and schools. There have been several bills brought to the Iowa Legislature that Orcutt has been a part of, including House File 755.
Julie Weisshaar also joins the program to speak about the Energy Association of Iowa Schools whose mission is to assist school across Iowa to test their grounds for radon and installing mitigation systems. The EAIS testing results show that nearly 42% of the schools they have tested show slight radon elevations.
The Iowa Department of Health provides information that explains the science of radon and access to resources for testing your home for radon.
"Radon is a natural radioactive gas that can cause cancer. You can’t see, smell or taste it, but radon may be in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the first leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers.