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Free Cancer Causing Gas Tests

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6:01am 15th November 2011

Thousands of families in Cornwall are being offered free checks for a cancer causing gas.

The Health Protection Agency is worried about radon levels in the old Restormel area.

It says some homes have levels fifty times above the point where action is needed.

Neil McColl, head of radon at the HPA's Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards said, "Cornwall has long been known as the area of the UK with more homes potentially exposed to high radon than anywhere else. This really illustrates just how important it is, especially in Cornwall, to get your home tested. Once you know what your radon level is can you do something about it. Our hope is that people that we write to take advantage of the free test we're offering."

Radon can not be seen, smelled or tasted - but each year long term exposure to it is believed to lead to over 1,000 lung cancer deaths across the UK. Now thousands of letters offering the easy checks are being sent out.

Lee Wagland, an officer from the Cornwall Council Environmental Health Service, said, "Radon exposure and the associated risks can be greatly, and easily, reduced. In most cases the remediation required is relatively straight forward and some can even be undertaken by anyone with practical DIY experience."

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health, at Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust, said, "Over the years we have seen a number of extremely high radon readings in Cornwall - of course these are rare but do show that there are people out there at significant risk. Radon exposure and the associated risks can be greatly reduced."

6:01am 15th November 2011

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