CR3 News Magazine 2017 VOL 4: SEPTEMBER Radon Resolutions - Page 28

Radon Activist

Research Engineer in the Residential Buildings Research Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Contact: Noel Merket

13792 W 20th Pl

Golden CO 80401

Phone: 720-443-5860


Board Member of Citizens for Radioactive Radon Reduction .

Through my occupation as a research engineer in the Residential Buildings Research Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory I have learned how important indoor air quality is. As we improve their efficiency by making homes more airtight, it is critical to monitor and manage airborne contaminants so that people aren't just saving money, but are healthy in the place they should feel safest--their homes.

However, the primary impetus for my interest and involvement in CR3 originates more from personal than professional interest. In September of 2016 my mother went to the emergency room with a severe pain in her neck. Thinking it was an injury, my parents were shocked to discover after a series of imaging and tests that the pain she was experiencing was from a malignant tumor in her neck. It was metastatic lung cancer that had spread all over her body. She had never smoked. We brought her to live with us in Denver so she could be treated by some of the top lung cancer oncologists at the University of Colorado. Her battle with cancer was harrowing to witness.

On February 25, 2017 she succumbed to the disease. She was 56 years old.

A few months prior I found out from our neighbors from the home we grew up in, that their mother (also a non-smoker) had died from an aggressive lung cancer as well. After doing some reading, I discovered that we lived in EPA Radon Zone 1, but had never heard anything about it. We had never tested in my childhood home, nobody even knew about those risks. I remembered having a radon test done on our current home before buying it and barely skating in below the 4.0 pCi/L limit. Our realtor was relieved that it wouldn't hold up the sale and assured us that everything was fine. As my suspicion and concern about radon grew, I retested our house in the winter to find out it did indeed test above the "safe" limits and had a mitigation system installed to protect my family.

Radon is taken too lightly as a threat. At best it is something to bicker over in a real estate transaction and to have fixed by an unscrupulous lowest bidder. At worst, it's not even a consideration when buying, and far more importantly, when living in a home. We can do better than this. My hope is that through this group and groups like it, we can bring awareness to people, especially policymakers, and make it the norm to discover and mitigate the threat of radon in every home.

Eliminating the Cancer Burden

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive, consortium cancer center, one of only a handful of consortium centers recognized by the NCI. As a consortium, the CU Cancer Center represents the unified basic, translational and clinical cancer research effort benefitting all citizens of Colorado. It comprises three universities, three medical centers, and one health maintenance organization.

Citizens For Radioactive Radon Reduction

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