Pratt, Kan. — One in every four homes in Kansas may have elevated radon levels. The United States Surgeon General considers indoor radon gas to be a national health problem and recommends that every home be tested. The week of Oct. 17-24 has been designated as Radon Awareness Week.
Radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause for non-smokers, is a naturally occurring radioactive element found in the soil. It is odorless and colorless but can seep through gaps and cracks in a home’s foundation. It contributes to about 21,000 deaths per year from lung cancer.
In the last year, Kansas State University Research and Extension has become home to the National Radon Program Services for the Environmental Protection Agency. The university operates a center for information, sponsors a poster contest for 9- to 14-year-olds and services in advisory capacity on legislation pertaining to radon.