How to Prevent Lung Cancer or Find it Early
First, educate yourself and take action to remove radon gas (group 1 carcinogen) which is commonly found in indoor air in Ohio and beyond. Sustained radon exposure damages your DNA in your lungs and lung cancer from radon is absolutely preventable! Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is the major cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and a significant factor in smokers, causing approximately 21,000 deaths from lung cancer per year according to the EPA. High, unsafe levels of radon gas is common in the rock, soil and ground-water in all 88 counties of Ohio, and in many other parts of the U.S. When radon gas percolates up from the ground and is trapped in occupied buildings such as homes, schools and workplaces, dangerous levels can accumulate. The EPA recommends mitigation if levels are over 4 pCi/L, but lung cancer research shows that levels over 2.7pCi/L are likely unsafe. Ohio state law only requires for home sellers to disclose “known” radon levels, but testing is not mandated, and no testing or disclosure is required for renters. Radon testing is also not required in schools, public buildings or places of employment. The majority of new construction does not have to be radon resistant. Thus it is up to individual citizens to test and mitigate their homes and request testing at school/work to reduce lung cancer risk.
Test and repair all Ohio homes, schools & workplaces with levels above 2.7pCi/L.
Test again every 3 years or after remodeling or changes HVAC system.
Be an advocate - share information with your community and employer.
Request radon test results from your school, workplace, daycare and before purchasing a home
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a tobacco product and the smoke breathed out by the user. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are toxic, and about 70 can cause cancer. There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke, and even brief exposure can cause immediate harm.
Establishing a 100% smoke-free environment. This is the only effective way to fully protect yourself and your children from secondhand smoke.
Make the decision to never smoke! Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term health problems. Poisons in tobacco smoke can damage or change a cell’s DNA. Smoking is highly addictive and the #1 cause of lung cancer. The only proven strategy to protect yourself from harm is to never smoke or chew tobacco products, and if you do smoke or use tobacco products, is to quit.
Take Action/Information on Quitting Smoking:
Smoking addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. Quitting smoking greatly lowers the risks for cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, and larynx. If you already have cancer and smoke, poisons in cigarette smoke can weaken the body’s immune system, making it harder to kill cancer cells. When this happens, cancer cells keep growing without being stopped.
Asbestos is a dangerous substance and should be avoided. People may be exposed to asbestos by breathing tiny asbestos fibers in the air. These fibers usually get into the air when something disturbs them in soil, rock, or older products during a building or home renovation. In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos exposure can also cause cancer of the larynx and ovary. Current evidence also suggests asbestos exposure may cause cancer of the pharynx, stomach, and colorectum.
Inspect and test for asbestos in older buildings before you begin a renovation. Use an industry hygiene firm for inspection before contacting an asbestos abatement contractor. Do not disturb potential asbestos during a renovation. Contact your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos.