The Vermont Department of Health is praising an Eagle Scout candidate for his Eagle project focused on fighting the second leading cause of lung cancer.
While walking the halls of his high school one afternoon, Scout Jeff G. noticed a series of posters extolling the dangers of radon, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that causes cancer. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
While many people do not know about radon, its dangers are real, and Jeff learned that some homes in his community could have elevated levels of radon gas, endangering those who lived in those houses. Jeff felt that, by distributing radon detection kits as his Eagle Scout project, he could help make a difference and might possibly even help to reduce the risk of someone getting lung cancer.
He accessed radon detection kits and enlisted the help of several volunteers to distribute them. His team started making calls to local residents in his community to offer them free radon detection kits. In all, Jeff and his team made nearly 1,500 calls and distributed 140 kits to those who were concerned that their homes might have elevated levels of radon.
“My hope was that everyone I talked to would be interested, because this is a serious issue – especially in Vermont,” Jeff said.
Representatives of the Vermont Department of Health offered praise for the Scout’s efforts in a news release.
“Your efforts will lead to significantly reduced lung cancer risk in those homes where elevated radon levels are detected and remedied,” Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD, said of Jeff’s project. “You have helped educate Vermonters about this largely overlooked health risk, and you have set a wonderful example through serving your community and helping others to protect themselves from harm.”
Officials estimate that one out of every eight homes in Vermont has elevated levels of radon, and, because of Jeff’s efforts through his Eagle project, several homes that are suffering the effects of radon will be able to detect the gas, and residents of those homes may even be able to prevent lung cancer because of this Eagle project.