Radon Awareness


What would you do to lower your family’s risk of lung cancer? It starts with one simple test, and your own Radon Awareness.

In this NET Connects presentation, Radon Awareness, you will learn about radon and how to keep your family safe from the dangers it presents.  Local panelists with first-hand experience and expertise will share how radon testing takes place, why it poses such a threat, and how community organizations are taking action against radon in Nebraska.

Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and claims about 20,000 American lives annually.

Nebraska has a very high prevalence of radon in homes. One out of every two radon tests conducted in the state is elevated. Most Nebraska counties are at the highest potential level for having high radon levels.  Generally, the highest potential areas have had the least amount of homes tested.

The Nebraska Radon Program recommends all homes be tested for radon, as testing is the only way to know the radon level in your home. Radon testing is easy and inexpensive, and do-it-yourself kits can be purchased through the Program. There are effective ways to reduce radon levels in your home if they are elevated. New homes can also be built with radon resistant features during construction, called radon resistant new construction (RRNC).


Meet the Panel:

Our host, Sara Morgan is an Advisory Committee member for the Nebraska Cancer Coalition. Sara spent 10 years working with as a Program Manager in Environmental Health and is now currently the Immunizations Program Manager with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Morgan received her B.S. degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her M.A. in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Carol O’Neill is an Outreach Oncology Nurse Coordinator, working with patients on their cancer journeys. Having never smoked a day in her life, it came as a shock when Carol was diagnosed with lung cancer, most likely caused by prolonged exposure to radon. Now Carol speaks adamantly to other Nebraska homeowners about getting their homes tested for radon.

Jeremy Poell is the Indoor Air Quality Program Manager for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Jeremy will tell us how pervasive an issue radon is across the state, as well as how important and easy it is to protect your family from the threat of radon.

Jenny Steventon, Assistant Director and Environmental Health Coordinator for Sarpy/Cass Health Department tells us how local health departments across Nebraska offer assistance, education and support to homeowners when seeking radon prevention measures.

As an Epidemiology Surveillance Coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Bryan Rettig studies the health of the overall population of Nebraska, and can help us link certain types of cancer to radon as a potential causal factor.

David Holmquist, Nebraska Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has been working to address the issue of radon in Nebraska because it has such an impact on cancer rates. David will tell us about measures taken to avoid contact with other dangerous materials in the past.

Shirley Deethardt, is a Nebraska homeowner who was having breathing and other health issues. When her home tested at 5 times the acceptable radon level, she had her home mitigated and is no longer experiencing radon-related breathing problems. In this program, Shirley tells the story of her experience with the radon testing and mitigation process.