Thursday, January 3, 2019

Radon Action Month--test your homes, schools, workplaces

Hope you will read and share our January issue of CR3 Radon News electronic magazine. Thanks so much to Jackie Nixon, lung cancer survivor and publisher, PA Re...presentative of Citizens for Radioactive Radon Reduction, and publisher of our magazine.…/radon_water_testi…/prweb16010442.htm

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Knowledge is power when it comes to lung cancer and radioactive radon gas exposure.  In a recent national survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by the Lung Cancer Action Network, 88 percent of the respondents didn’t know that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.  Most people are not aware that this invisible gas can seep into any type of structure: brick, frame, basement, no basement, slab on grade, crawl space, old or new.  Awareness is needed especially relating to testing for radon and mitigating if the radon level is high.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recommends seriously considering mitigation if the level is between 2-4 picocuries (pCi/L) and certainly if the level is higher.  The action level used in the U.S. is 4.0 pCi/L, but that figure was not based on health safety.  The World Health Organization has 2.7 pCi/L as its reference level.  Actually there is no safe level of radon exposure.

              Misconceptions about the effect of radon exposure are common.  Numerous studies throughout the U.S. and world have verified that exposure to radon increases the chance of lung cancer. The EPA and other agencies and organizations estimate that 21,000 individuals lose their life to radon exposure annually.
              Early detection and prevention can be more powerful in saving lives from lung cancer than chemo, radiation, and medication.  Of course, one method of prevention is to test the structures that are occupied such as homes, schools, and workplaces for radon gas.  With the advent of new and easy-to-use measurement devices such as the Wave Smart Radon Detector and the Radon Gas Monitor by Airthings, the user can be informed on a daily basis and instantly of the radon level in the structure—much like a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector.
              Early detection can happen with a low dose CT scan (LDCT) for people at high risk of getting lung cancer.  Research has shown that us LDCT scans to screen people at higher risk of lung cancer saves more lives compared to chest X-rays.  Only approximately 16 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed at an early stage according to the American Lung Association.   Exposure to 20 pCi/L of radon gas is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day according to EPA.  Radon exposure is a considerable health risk with an estimated 200,000 deaths in the next 10 years which is largely preventable.
              Most people don’t think of testing for radon in the home until it comes time to sell.   The Radon Awareness Act in IL and MN has made a difference and increased the number of homebuyers testing for radon at the time of sale up to approximately 60%. The 2017 U.S. Census Bureau indicates the existence of about 126.22 million households. (A household is all people who occupy a housing unit).  Some statistical analysis show about 6 million homes (new and existing) were sold in 2017; therefore probably tens of millions of homeowners and tenants never think about testing their residences for this silent killer.  U.S. Surgeon General urges all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon.         

              Some actions to help reduce lung cancer are getting lending institutions to demand radon testing for home loans and insurance companies to require radon testing before issuing life insurance policies. Requiring radon testing for rental properties and awareness laws would help provide a safer indoor air quality for tenants.  Most individuals pay attention to their physicians so providing the access of “Reducing the Risk form Radon:  Information and Interventions A Guide for Health Care Providers” to family physicians, pediatric doctors, nurses, cancer centers, and other health care providers will help increase the knowledge of the danger of radon exposure in both the patients and the medical community.  Increased research is providing hope and a longer life for lung cancer patients and the future is filled with new treatments and knowledge.  Getting lung cancer out in the open (if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer) is changing the perception of the general public.  Surviving patients are replacing fear with investigation, participation, and activism. 
              With early detection, prevention, and research, perhaps one day in the future, lung cancer won’t be the greatest cancer killer of both men and women.  

              The best day to test your home for radon is today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


If we are lucky enough to increase in age or as some would say “grow old,” we think of letting go of things—things that are perhaps no longer needed. Our families have grown smaller many times as well as our homes, and downsizing seems to occur in many aspects of our lives. Perhaps instead of always thinking of letting go, it may be wise to think of what we want to hold on to.

It’s important to know the difference between a job and a vocation—a passionate meaning to your life that can be pursued to the end. We write our lives with each step and action taken, and we hold closely the things we believe in and are emotionally charged about. Staying connected and engaged with the things that give life meaning for us, weaving all the threads together of the desires, convictions, and realities that we treasure, allows us to continue to encounter life and remain true to our faith, commitments, and passion.

About ten years ago a young lady in Alabama of approximately 75-80 years of age who had lost one lung to lung cancer—most likely from radon exposure--20 years earlier, was asked if she still shared her story of the danger of radon exposure with others. She said, “Honey, I never stopped!” Using our voices and actions to reach out to the world as we give meaning to our lives with vitality and purpose to continue our crusade of saving lives with radon awareness and reduction is worth hanging on to.

Experiencing the encounters of our fellow citizens in neighborhoods, community gatherings, church meetings, and legislative offices gives energy, sparkle, and breathe to our lives. Being a part of something larger than ourselves is a good feeling. Sharing expertise and mentoring the new kids on the block transforms the autumn seasons of our lives. We can open new doors of opportunities as we tread these new paths to wholeness and welcome the new generations to making a difference with awareness, advocacy, and activism in saving lives by preventing lung cancer from radioactive radon exposure. In our ranks of the medical communities, lung cancer organizations, radon industry, U.S. government agencies, legislative branches, we have a goldmine of expertise that needs to be shared.
Gloria Linnertz
July 15, 2018

Friday, August 3, 2018

Third Annual Radon Awareness Act Day Celebration

On August 16, 2018, at 6 p.m. at the Monroe County Health Department, the Third Annual Radon Awareness Act Day Celebration will be held. A free presentation on healthy home environments through radon reduction and the history of the IL Radon Awareness Act will be given.
Radon test kits, packets of milkweed seed will be given along with free admission tickets to Shaw Nature Reserve, Butterfly House or Missouri Botanical Garden (while supply lasts) all for $10.00

On August 16, 2007, the IL governor signed the Radon Awareness Act into law which occurred on the 32nd wedding anniversary of Joe and Gloria Linnertz. This law is the result of the death of Joe on February 8, 2006, from lung cancer—most likely caused from radioactive radon gas exposure in the home. At that time, IL Representative Dan Reitz filed a bill called the Radon Awareness Act which passed the IL House and Senate unanimously. Much appreciation goes to Dallas Jones of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists for drafting the bill. Minnesota has duplicated this bill, and many lives are being saved as a result of increased radon testing at the point of sale and mitigation if the radon level is elevated.

Many other radon laws have been passed in the state of IL since that time. Day care facilities must be tested and homes must be built with radon resistant features. However, what is lacking is the testing of all schools in the state of IL to protect our children, teachers, and staff.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21,000 deaths annually due to radon-induced lung cancer. In 2005 the U.S. Surgeon General urged all homes be tested.

It is suggested that homes be tested every two years because of changes that occur in the home and surrounding areas around the home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the leading environmental cause of cancer mortality. It is easy to test and not very difficult to fix the problem if the level is high.
Gloria Linnertz
July 15, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Help Make a Difference

Public housing authorities throughout the U.S. are required to conduct radon testing in their units. This is not occurring in many cases. My reporter friend from Oregon is trying to change this so occupants of those units are aware and hopefully protected from radioactive radon gas exposure. If you know of someone in this situation anywhere in our nation who has been living with elevated levels of radon and has been diagnosed with lung cancer, please contact
Brad Schmidt
1500 SW 1st Ave., Suite 400
Portland, OR 97201