The National Conference of State Legislatures, Florida Senator Dave Aronberg
January 28, 2009
State Legislators Protect Families From Silent Killer: Radon Gas
DENVER - You cannot see, smell or taste radon gas, but it is the leading cause
of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in
America, claiming about 20,000 lives each year.
January is National Radon Action Month. The National Conference of State
Legislatures (NCSL) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are teaming
up to alert Americans about the dangers of radon. It is formed by the natural
radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil and water, and can build to unsafe
levels in your home. It is found in every part of the United States and can get
into any type of building. Most of us spend the majority of our day at home,
which is where the greatest exposure to radon can occur.
"Testing your home, office or school for radon is probably one of the most
inexpensive ways to protect your family from the dangers of radon gas," said
Doug Farquhar, director for NCSL's environmental health program.
In an effort to promote radon testing, the EPA recorded more than 30 different
public service announcements
(2.8 MB ZIP file of *.wav document - The
text version of the same information is a 8 Kb PDF file.) with over 60 state legislators who attended NCSL's
2008 Legislative Summit in New Orleans. These announcements explain the dangers
of this colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, and have been airing throughout
the month of January on radio stations across the country.
Illinois Rep. Dan Reitz is being recognized for his contribution to reducing the
risk of radon, raising awareness of radon testing and spurring broader public
action to reduce the risk of lung cancer. Reitz has sponsored numerous
radon-related legislation, including the Radon Awareness Act which unanimously
passed the Illinois House and Senate. This act requires that the seller give a
buyer a pamphlet on radon testing and allows the buyer the right to have the
property inspected for radon. In April 2008, Reitz became the chief sponsor of
HB 4789 which creates a radon task force to make recommendations concerning the
adoption of rules for building codes. Reitz will be honored this Wednesday, Jan.
28 at the 2009 National Radon Award Ceremony at the National Press Club in
Washington, D.C. Partners in this effort include the Conference of Radiation
Control Program Directors (CRCPD), the American Association of Radon Scientists
and Technologists (AARST), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL),
the U.S. EPA and many others.
For a full list of state radon statutes, log onto
NCSL's environmental health
NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the
states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical
assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most
pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the
interests of the states in the American federal system.