Radon could be source of health problems in Maine

For many people in Maine, radon can be a large problem. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- For many people in Maine, radon can be a large problem.

"We have a lot of granite rocks in Maine so we have a high rate of radon in our homes and our well water," said Debra Violette, Chair of Free ME From Lung Cancer.

Radon is the toxic chemical caused from the degradation of granite rocks, and according to the National Cancer Institute, radon is also the second leading cause of lung cancer.

"People who use well water are the only ones who will find radon in their water," said Violette.

Her group helps fund lung cancer treatments in the state, and she says they now will offer a grant for one single-family home to get a radon cleaning system installed in their home.

"[We want] to be able to help those that are less fortunate than others to have access to being healthy," she said.

The filtration system can be installed into a small space like a closet or basement corner, and will run tubes from a large water tank through the house and outside.

"Water will filter through the tank, and then the motor will come on inside the tank, and the fan will come on inside the tank, and then a motor outside will bring all the radon gases in the tank outside," she said.

Violette says the cause is very important to her, since her home was found to have high levels of radon almost 20 years ago.

"In 1998 I was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer, and my doctors asked me if I had had my home tested for radon. I said no," she said.

She says she wants more people to test their homes for radon, and to make sure they are safe.

"You can get a simple kit from the state for as little as 25 or 30 dollars," she said.

To find out more about radon or Free ME From Lung Cancer, click on the links below:

Free ME From lung Cancer

State of Maine Radon Control

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