Health commissioner reminds New Yorkers to test homes for radon


As cigarette smoking continues to decline, state health officials are turning attention to another cause of lung cancer: radon. State Health Commissioner Antonia Novello issued a statement yesterday urging New Yorkers to test their homes for radon -- which is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Novello noted that anti-smoking campaigns have resulted in cigarette use among adults declining to a record low of 18 percent statewide in 2004. She said radon is another area that needs attention to reduce lung cancer.

The untimely deaths of Peter Jennings and Dana Reeve due to lung cancer have raised public awareness about the deadly disease. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer.

If the test shows radon is a problem, simple inexpensive techniques may be able to reduce radon levels. There are contractors trained to fix radon problems in homes.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas in the soil that comes from the breakdown of uranium.

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