Radon, a radioactive chemical that can emanate from the ground and seep into the air supply, can cause cancerous tumors in the lungs when inhaled. However, few statistics exist about how the gas is currently impacting public health, and that is a cause for concern for researchers who study the chemical.
Lung cancer rates are higher in Georgia’s Barrow County than in other parts of the state. Around 18 percent of adults living there are smokers, and that’s a major contributor to the high cancer rate. But radon could also be a factor, according to Derek Cooper, a radon educator and with the Georgia Radon Program, operated by the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences and the UGA Cooperative Extension Service.
About 40 percent of the residents who completed a do-it-yourself, home radon testing kit, detected elevated radon levels in their homes, a survey found. Now, Cooper and others are trying to educate residents about the risk of this silent killer.
Lexie Little is a graduate student studying journalism. Click here to see her full post in Georgia Health News.