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Letter to the Editor: Danger of radon gas

Waterloo, Ill.


Please help me inform the citizens of our state of the deadly effects of radon gas. Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and for persons who have ever smoked chances are much greater of developing lung cancer if exposed to high levels of radon gas over a period of years.

The federal government knows about this worldwide threat, but very few of our citizens know anything about radon gas or of its harmful effects. Testing for radon gas is very easy. Buying a test kit at the local hardware store and conducting a two-three day test can determine if a home has high radon gas. If it is 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or higher, it needs to be mitigated according to the surgeon general. Mitigation is not complicated and can be accomplished in a few hours.

I had no idea what radon gas was and certainly didn't think it was in my house. On Feb. 8, 2006, my husband Joe died of lung cancer. Joe's cancer doctor had told us that smoking and radon gas causes lung cancer. Joe hadn't smoked in 27 years. On March 8, I saw on TV that Dana Reeves, a nonsmoker, had died of lung cancer. Again radon gas was slightly mentioned as a cause of lung cancer. I tested the house, and found the high levels of 11.2 and 16.6 pCi/L. Needless to say, I had it mitigated.

My purpose is to prevent other deaths due to radon gas by having every house tested for this killer. We can save thousands of lives.

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