Shantel VanSanten, actress of the tv series Shooter and One Tree Hill, is a part of LUNG FORCE, the American Lung Association’s initiative that aims to unite women and their loved ones across the country to stand together for lung health and against lung cancer.
In 2013, VanSanten’s grandmother, Doris Dooymea, started experiencing respiratory issues, and was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She was a non-smoker. Seven months later, Dooymea passed away.
PEOPLE magazine recently published an interview with VanSanten where she states, “It left my family and I in a lot of confusion, and to our ignorance, we did not know that lung cancer was the number one cancer killer and that it could happen to anyone. We made the grave assumption that it could only happen to people who smoked.”
The interview goes on to explain that after her grandmother passed, VanSanten and her family looked for answers.
“We searched to understand what the cause was, and we found it was from radon poisoning, which was found in [her] basement.” – VanSanten.
“It’s preventable if you just educate yourself to test your home. You should test for radon before you move in and continue to test every five to seven years for radon.” – VanSanten.
You can read the full article here: Shantel VanSanten Wants You to Test Your Home for Lung Cancer-Causing Radon: 'It's Preventable'
Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. It is invisible, odorless, and tasteless causing it to be even more dangerous.
It can be a problem is old and new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with or without basements etc.… House construction, local geology, and construction materials are all factors that affect radon levels. The gas can seep up through cracks in walls and solid floors, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and even the water supply. Because radon follows the faults in the ground, home levels can vary greatly from house to house. One house may have a level of 2 while the neighbor’s house may be at 36.
Radon can be found all over the United States, but there are areas where the levels tend to be higher on average. The map below shows what parts of the U.S. are in what zone. Red being the highest levels.
Testing and mitigating is a simple solution for radon. Testing can let you know if there are high levels that need to be mitigated, or it can put your mind at ease knowing you have low levels. To mitigate, active radon systems pull the gas from the ground and release it above the house.
Testing and fixing radon levels can be life-saving. It’s never too late to reduce your risk of lung cancer.