New Resource Explores the Radon, Smoking and Lung Cancer Connection

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Vermont Department of Health

   News Release: April 11, 2014

 

Media Contact:
Vermont Department of Health
Communication Office
802-863-7281
 
BURLINGTON – A new resource on the Vermont Department of Health’s Environmental Public Health Tracking portal offers the opportunity to explore the connections between radon, smoking and lung cancer, using community-level maps, charts and graphs.

The Radon, Smoking and Lung Cancer Data Explorer is available at: www.healthvermont.gov/tracking/rslc.aspx

One out of every eight homes in Vermont has elevated levels of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps into homes from soil and bedrock. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. If you smoke and your home has high levels of radon, your risk of getting lung cancer is especially high.

Each year approximately 380 Vermonters die from lung cancer. Of these deaths, about 50 are associated with radon – and of the 50 lung cancer deaths associated with radon, about 40 were among current or former smokers.

“Lung cancer deaths from radon and smoking are preventable,” says David Grass, PhD, Tracking program manager. “Radon problems are relatively inexpensive to fix, and quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of lung cancer.”

The Health Department offers free radon test kits to Vermont residents – call 800-439-8550 or email radon@state.vt.us, and free services to help smokers quit, including nicotine replacement therapy sent directly to residents – call 1-800-Quit-NOW or go to www.802Quits.org.

The Radon, Smoking and Lung Cancer Data Explorer is part of a continuing effort to help Vermonters understand environmental health issues in their communities. Other environment and health data presented on the Environmental Public Health Tracking portal include: asthma, birth defects, cancer, blue green algae, heat illness, childhood lead poisoning, private and public drinking water, and air quality.

Join Tracking on Facebook – Vermonters can receive environmental health updates from the Vermont Environmental Public Health Tracking Program’s Facebook page.

For health news, alerts and information - visit healthvermont.gov.
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