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Radon Exposure

January 22, 2015

The chemical radon causes lung cancer, and it’s found in many homes. Fortunately, it’s easy to test for and remove.



Ridding your house of radon. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Thousands of people die each year from a chemical in our homes, but most of us choose to ignore it. It’s not a food additive, pesticide or cleaning product: it’s the naturally-occurring element radon, a radioactive gas produced in soil that’s the second leading cause of deaths from lung cancer.  Radon can collect in homes, and EPA spokesman Philip Jalbert says it’s hard to predict where it occurs.

PHILIP JALBERT (Environmental Protection Agency):

We have seen cases many many times where you have a housing development with fifty houses, same builder, and one house will have almost no radon and the house next door will have 25 picocuries.


January is radon action month, and Jalbert says it’s not hard to reduce radon to safe levels. You can learn more and get a discount test kit at, and we’ve got more info at I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

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