October 11, 2010 |
You may not realize it, but your life is radioactive. If you've eaten a banana lately, potassium-40 atoms in your body are shooting out thousands of particles every second. And if you're anywhere near solid ground, you can assume that radon gas is pelting you with gamma rays. With X-rays at the dental office, radon in the basement and cosmic rays beaming down from space, we're literally surrounded by radioactivity and high-powered radiation. Invisible, exotic and — as nuclear weapons have so clearly demonstrated — potentially lethal, radiation seems perfectly suited to inspire fear, says Jerrold Bushberg, clinical professor of radiology and radiation oncology at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
September 16, 1985
Concerned about the potential nationwide health hazards of naturally occurring radon gas, the Environmental Protection Agency is designing a survey to first determine the risks posed to residents in a three-state area, an EPA official said. Sheldon Meyers, director of the EPA's office of radiation, said the survey would take nine months to design.
November 7, 1999
In an Oct. 31 letter, Lisa Finn asked how she can protect her health from chlordane residue under her house. I would like to suggest moving the poisoned air out of the crawl space before it has a chance to migrate into her home's living space. This is not a permanent solution because I have no knowledge of the time it takes chlordane to break down into nontoxic byproducts, but forcing crawl space air out from under the house seems an inexpensive intermediate step until a better long-term solution can be undertaken.
February 20, 1998 |
Radon, a natural radioactive gas that collects in some homes, is linked to about 21,800 American lung cancer deaths a year, researchers said Thursday. Most of the victims were smokers. "Radon, particularly in combination with smoking, poses an important public health risk," said Dr. Jonathan Samet, a Johns Hopkins University professor and chairman of a National Research Council radon study committee.
March 13, 1987
Legislation that would escalate the battle against radon, the gas estimated to cause up to 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, was introduced in Congress. Radon, an odorless radioactive gas produced by the decay of natural uranium deposits, has been identified as the nation's No. 1 environmental cancer risk. Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), George J. Mitchell (D-Me.) and John H. Chafee (R-R.I.) sponsored legislation to authorize $30 million for a program of research and detection, and Rep.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 1989
Northwestern Los Angeles County and southeastern Ventura County residents are being asked to participate in a detailed study of radon gas levels in their homes, state Health Services Director Kenneth W. Kizer said Friday. Radon is a natural radioactive gas that seeps up from the soil and is thought to be a cause of lung cancer. A survey by The Times last fall indicated that radon is apt to exceed recommended limits in 50,000 Southern California residences.
January 6, 1988 |
A three-year study by the National Research Council has found that the danger of indoor exposure to radioactive radon gas is much higher than previously believed and is especially hazardous for smokers. The council, an arm of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, said Tuesday that the lifetime risk of dying from lung cancer due to radon exposure is nearly three times greater than widely respected estimates made as recently as 1984.
March 13, 2000 |
Like all physicians, we learned about radon, an odorless gas that has been linked to lung cancer. However, it wasn't until one of us tried to purchase a house--and the inspection revealed elevated radon levels--that the issue struck home. Radon gas is produced by the decay of uranium, an element almost universally present in soil and rock. Radon moves slowly through ground soil and can enter homes through openings or cracks in the foundations and construction joints.