Don't let your home undermine your health

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some of us are fatalistic when it comes to our health, especially "the big C," cancer.

Yes, maybe we've quit smoking, or maybe we never did smoke, but a majority of us have anecdotal evidence that non-smokers can get lung cancer, too.

Second-hand smoke, other environmental factors, bad genetics or just bad luck may be enough to make a non-smoker another cancer statistic.

But maybe it's not all coincidence.

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, released through the breakdown of uranium in the soil, then entering homes and buildings through the soil.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, the most common cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. It's common in Nebraska, where one out of every two homes tested show a radon level classified as "high," above 4.0 pCi/L)

It can only be detected through a test, and that's where the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department comes in. During January's Radon Action Month, SWNPHD is joining with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to educate all americans about the dangers of radon exposure.

You can obtain a short-term radon test kit from the SWNPHD for $10; $13 if your would like to receive it by mail. Send a check to SWNPHD. P.O. Box 1235, McCook NE 69001, or stop in at 404 W. 10th to pick one up. Email info@swhealth.ne.gov for more information.

Most of us want to do everything we can to maintain a healthy lifestyle; testing our homes for radon will help ensure our living quarters aren't conspiring against us.

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