Wednesday 4th February 2015 is World Cancer Day. Few people realise that a naturally occurring gas that can accumulate unnoticed within buildings is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the UK, and the leading cause of the disease in non-smokers. Radon-induced lung cancer claims over 1000 lives in the UK every year, yet many of these deaths could have been avoided if the victims had known to test their homes for radon.
The slogan for this year’s World Cancer Day is ‘Not Beyond Us’, with the campaign aiming to highlight that solutions do exist across the continuum of cancer, and that they are within our reach.
One of the four key objectives of this year’s World Cancer Day is to encourage people to make Healthy Life Choices, with the organisers stating “Empowering people to make healthy choices and reducing the social and environmental risk factors for cancer are key to achieving the global goal of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025 and reaching the targets of the World Cancer Declaration.”
Increased awareness of radon is needed that people can make a decision themselves whether or not to test their home (we recommend that all homes are tested). Radon testing is the only way to know whether a building contains elevated levels of radon and whether the occupants are at risk of developing lung cancer.
The UK Radon Association has created a simple factsheet about radon and we encourage you to share this with friends, family and colleagues to spread the message that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.