The Winnebago County Health Department is warning everyone of a common deadly gas called Radon which may be in your home. According to the EPA, in Iowa, 7 out of 10 homes have levels that are dangerous to not only humans, but pets too.
The area is rich in uranium which is where the gas originates and then filters into the house from the basement or ground floor. The gas is a naturally caused, odorless, colorless, yet radioactive gas that gets into the lungs of humans and animals alike and begins to kill cells beginning in the nasal passages and airways and then into the lungs themselves. The end result is cancer.
Lung cancer was originally thought to be the result from smoking. However, recent research has discovered that radon rich areas such as Iowa does play a significant role in the development of lung and other cancers. This was discovered after several individuals came forward with the disease who were non-smokers and did not live or work in second hand smoke areas.
Gail Orcutt, herself a cancer survivor, which stemmed from Radon gas, will present two programs on Tuesday. The first is for medical personnel and will be held at the Public Health Building at 2pm. The second meeting will be at 7pm and will be at the TSB Meeting Room in Forest City. At each meeting, there will be Radon Detection Kits available for $5 each.
“The kits are easy to use.” said Ronald Kvale, Winnebago County Sanitarian. ” As long as you follow the instructions in setting them up, they will be just as reliable as if you had a professional do it.”
The programs are free to attend and will give the attendee a lot of information on what you can do if your home harbours the gas. The EPA and the Winnebago County Health Department both say that you will need to have professionals install a unit in your home or work to absorb the Radon gas if it is present in your home or work and is over certain levels.