Legislation designed to protect Iowans from radon is hitting some road blocks.
The gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless, and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
It develops as soil and rock break down.
An investigation found Iowa is among the states with the highest levels of the toxic gas.
Senator Robert Hogg introduced a bill this session that would require building codes to have statewide standards for radon control.
It’s a bill he introduced in large part because of retired school teacher Gail Orcutt.
About two years ago Orcutt got the devastating news no one wants to hear.
“I had a cough and a wheeze, and thought I was experiencing allergy symptoms and found out I had lung cancer,” says Orcutt.
Orcutt had her left lung removed and underwent twelve weeks of chemotherapy eventually beating cancer.
“I’m one of the very very lucky ones to survive only 15 percent of lung cancer diagnosed people survive,” says Orcutt.
As a non-smoker doctors had a hard time explaining how Orcutt even got lung cancer, so she did some research and found radon might be to blame.
“There was study done in Iowa in 2001 that suggested there was a correlation specifically in Iowa between the radon concentrations in patient’s homes and lung cancer,” says Dr. George Voynov.
Orcutt took a permanent solution, after having her home mitigated she had a device installed that flushes the radon out from the ground up.
Orcutt says she’ll continue to help bring awareness to the issue and be an advocate for not only the state of Iowa but nationwide.
“I’ve survived this this is the least I can do,” says Orcutt.
If you would like a Radon testing kit contact the Iowa Radon Hotline at 1-800-383-5992 or visit www.idph.state.ia.us/eh/radon.asp the kits are $10.00.