The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reports that the state has a high prevalence of radon gas in homes. Of over 70,000 homes tested since 1990, 57-percent have been above acceptable health levels. Sara Morgan is the Program Manager for Indoor Air Quality at DHHS and says no home is immune. It originates in the soil that is under homes and due to natural air flows it can make its way inside homes through cracks in the foundation.
Morgan says if a person is exposed to high enough levels or shorter levels for a longer period of time it can lead to lung cancer. Statistics show that approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year are due to radon exposure. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. More Americans die every year from lung cancer caused by radon poisoning than from carbon monoxide, fires and handguns combined.
Homeowners are urged to purchase an inexpensive radon test kit and test their homes. This is Radon Awareness Week.