Gail Dobbs has never smoked. But last spring her doctor diagnosed her with lung cancer. With help from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, the Walton County resident tested her home for radon and found her cancer may be caused by the air in her home.
“Most people don’t think about radon, yet radon can have a major impact on you and your family’s health,” said Pamela Turner, a UGA Extension housing specialist. “Radon can seep into homes and contaminate the air inside.”
More than 21,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by radon. Georgia has the highest rate in the Southeast with 822 deaths last year alone.
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock or water. It is invisible, odorless and tasteless. Regions with a lot of granite have a higher risk for radon.