Reposted from benamery21 by benamery21
Editor's Note: I've added some specific resources for FL and CA in the comments. I'd like to crowdsource info for other areas of the country for inclusion in an updated diary. If KETI members felt like adding comments about risk and resources in their home states, that would be terrific addition to the diary for our fellow Kossacks... -- benamery21
A single ongoing threat from a toxic radiological kills roughly 20,000 people each year in the U.S. or almost 1% of all deaths. For certain identified high-risk areas, the threat is much higher, meaning that this radiological may represent the single largest mortality risk for those populations. By contrast, the number of domestic deaths from other risks associated with terror is infinitesimal (lower by 2 orders of magnitude).
Wasteful spending on lesser threats
The U.S. spends about $1T a year combating perceived security risks and yet almost none of it is spent on the biggest radiological killer in the U.S. The U.S spends trillions of dollars annually on healthcare, much of which is ineffective reaction to preventable risks. Budget constraints are commonly cited by federal agencies failing to respond to this particular threat, however. People suffering from being gassed in their own homes with this toxic radiological are apparently of minor interest. It is estimated that deaths caused by this risk could be nearly eliminated for a net cost of less than zero dollars, since healthcare treatment of casualties by the government is far more expensive than prevention would be. The gross initial cost of permanent prevention would be on the order of 1% of the security budget for a single year.
Why haven't you heard about this risk? Why aren't we doing much if anything about it? Well you probably have heard of this risk. Oh?
Is it nuclear waste dumps? No. Is it nuclear power plants? No. Is it the coal power plants which release more radiologicals than nuclear power plants? No. Is it hospital radiological waste? No.
The biggest radiological killer in the U.S., killing tens of thousands of people annually, kills by causing lung cancer. The cause is a naturally occurring toxic radiological gas called radon, of which you have likely heard, and the risks of which have been well known for decades. Identification and mitigation of these risks would be a rounding error in the federal budget and would save the government significant money over time in reduced treatment costs of lung cancer.
Get more info:
Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that our government will change course to cost-effectively eradicate this risk in a timely fashion. Here is a link to the EPA Radon home page if you would like more info on this issue:
You can obtain a test kit to self-assess your home's radon risk for less than $10, online or at a local hardware store. If you live in a home that has not been tested, this may be your biggest cancer risk, assuming you are a non-smoker. Testing your home to rule-out or identify this risk is prudent, particularly if you have children. I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to address the gross failures of our government on your own behalf.
Act to ask our government to protect others
If you want to do more: E-mail your test results to your Senator and government representatives at all levels and remind them that we waste trillions on security and healthcare waste, while ignoring prudent policy choices which would actually improve or save the life of average Americans who should not need to do a personal risk assessment of such an insidious, but low-profile killer.
Life, the Universe, and Everything
If you have questions or comments, I would be pleased to discuss radon (and the tangentially related subjects of risk assessment, healthcare systems, security theater, asinine government/private expenditure prioritization, energy systems, and the price of tea in China) in the comment thread. Do not expect an immediate response on Thanksgiving! You may get one, but I may well not be available.