CanSAR Press Release 2-4-2013 HUD Announcement


CanSAR board member joins senior officials from HUD, EPA, CEQ, HHS and DOE to announce new policy regarding radon testing and mitigation in FHA-insured multifamily mortgages.

Waterloo, IL, February 4, 2013 – CanSAR board member Marlene MacEwan joined HUD Secretary Donovan, EPA Administrator Jackson, U.S. Surgeon General Benjamin and senior officials from CEQ and DOE today to announce a new HUD policy for radon testing and mitigation in FHA-insured multifamily mortgages.  The announcement was made by HUD Secretary Donovan during an open press event held at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. for the unveiling of Advancing Healthy Housing – A Strategy for Action.  The event will be available on video beginning at 2PM EST on Hud’s website: 

MacEwan, speaking on behalf of CanSAR, was introduced by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.  “With this policy, HUD has taken proactive steps in helping to prevent radon-induced lung cancer,” said MacEwan.  She continued, “As someone who has lived through the heartache of losing a loved one to radon, I am thankful for the work being done by HUD, EPA and other federal and state agencies.  We have much more work to do, but this policy represents a positive step forward.”

MacEwan also delivered a personal message from CanSAR Founder and President, Liz Hoffmann.  “Liz Hoffmann, our founder, is unable to be here today because she is currently undergoing another round of chemo,” said MacEwan.  “In Liz’ words: As someone who is reminded each day of the importance of radon risk reduction, I don’t want others to experience the emotional and financial burdens I’ve gone through.  To date, the cost of my treatment has exceeded $800 thousand dollars, and those that I love continue to bear witness to my battle with this horrible disease.  Every radon-induced lung cancer survivor, or the family of those who have lost their battle, has a story to share with you.  Unfortunately, our stories are too similar.  A fresh focus on addressing the radon problem in our country must begin with today’s announcement.  More than 21,000 lives lost each year to this preventable disease is not acceptable.”

 Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  Exposure to radon is responsible for more than 21,000 annual deaths.  Approximately 1 in 15 U.S. buildings contain radon gas in toxic concentrations above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L, including more than 70,000 classrooms.

CanSAR is an organization dedicated to preventing radon-induced lung cancer and saving lives through education and outreach.