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The dangers of radon to our families

Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer

The month of January is National Radon Action Month, but are you familiar with what radon is?

If not, it is important to learn about it, as it can be quite dangerous for our family's health.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind smoking.

"Radon is a gas that is emitted from the soil, and it is odorless, it is tasteless, it is invisible, so there is no way of knowing that we have it there," says Shannon Patton, RN/Community Health Education Coordinator at Mercy Medical Center.

Most radon enters our homes through the basement from cracks or other weak seals. As people breathe the ambient air, that radon enters our bodies. Therefore, this creates a potentially worse hazard for smokers and for our children.

"Children's bodies are going to absorb that differently and probably in higher levels," says Patton. "So it's important that your children are not exposed to that."

The good news is, there is an easy way to test for it with radon test kits.

"You open this up and you are going to hang it in your basement for about five days. There is a little charcoal in there that is actually going to absorb that radon," says Patton. "After about five days, you are going to close it up, seal it, and drop it in the mail."

You can easily purchase these kits right here in Siouxland.

"Siouxland District Health sells these year round," says Patton. "They are right there and you can go any time between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM and buy them for $7."

To find out more information, Mercy Medical Center will be hosting an event on Tuesday, January 23rd, where medical professionals and radon mitigation specialists will be in attendance to answer any questions.

There, you can also purchase radon testing kits to use in your home.

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