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.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause, but the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause.
Why hire a contractor for asbestos removal?
Asbestos removal is complicated.
Hiring an asbestos abatement company is not only the easiest way to remove asbestos, but is also the SAFEST.
Contractors, facilities managers and others cannot safely remove asbestos without proper training and licensing.
Complications of Doing-It-Yourself:
- Only Residential properties: Asbestos removal by homeowner is limited to residential property. A certified abatement professional must do the work on a commercial property.
- Single-family only: Self-removal can only be performed in single-family residences. This does not include multiple-family units or mixed-use buildings that contain a residential unit.
- Permits are required and vary by location. In one area, several agencies could be regulating asbestos removal.
- Proper disposal: Asbestos cannot be put with the regular garage. It must be disposed of at an approved facility.
While it’s legal for homeowners to remove asbestos themselves, asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases if not properly removed. Disease symptoms may take many years to develop following exposure and can be difficult to identify.
The three primary health concerns associated with asbestos exposure are:
- Lung cancer.
- Mesothelioma, a cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart.
- Asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term disease of the lungs.
Smokers are at greater risk.
Is the Silent Killer Creeping Through Your Home?
Radon is an invisible, odorless, colorless radioactive gas. It fills our basements, creeps up through openings in the floor and walls and enters the air that we breathe. It does not cause a cough, nor does it make our eyes sore or our nose run. It is silent and deadly being the number one cause of lung cancer to non-smokers and the number two cause of lung cancer to smokers.
How do you know that radon has infiltrated your home? The only way is to have a radon measurement taken. Can something be done about it? Yes, a radon mitigation system can remove the contaminant from your home.
Why do some homes have radon and others do not? Radon is a radioactive gas caused by the natural decay of uranium. Uranium deposits are randomly found throughout the soil. So, one home may have a deposit under or near it and the home right next door may have no radon issues. That is why it is important to have a radon measurement taken.
Radon gas moves through the ground seeking an escape. Its escape route may be the cracks in a foundation, the openings for electric lines and plumbing, the areas where the floor meets with the wall. Your home then traps the radon where it can build up to excessive levels. It does not matter if it is a well-sealed home or a drafty home, a home with a basement or a home without. Any home may have levels of radon. No level is a safe level.
The best solution: have your home tested.