MONTPELIER (AP) -- A new web resource is available that allows Vermont residents to explore connections between radon, smoking and lung cancer in their communities.
According to state officials, one in eight Vermont homes has elevated levels of radon, a natural but radioactive gas that seeps into houses from soil and bedrock. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Vermonters who both smoke and live in a home with radon are at an extra high risk.
About 380 Vermonters die annually from lung cancer. Fifty of those are associated with radon and among them, the majority also were smokers, the Health Department said.
"Lung cancer deaths from radon and smoking are preventable," said tracking program manager David Grass. "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 resource is online at www.healthvermont.gov/tracking/rslc.aspx.
The Health Department also has free radon test kits available by calling 800-439-8550 or emailing radon(at)state.vt.us.