Radon topic of health board meeting

EAST LIVERPOOL – With radon the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths in this country, the city health board learned a little about the radioactive gas Thursday from health Commissioner Jelayne Dray.

In her report at the board’s monthly meeting, Dray said radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted and comes from the natural break-down of uranium in soil, rock and water.

It is found all over the country and can enter any type of building, typically moving up through the ground to the air above, through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths, according to Dray, who presented information showing 21,000 deaths a year are attributed to radon, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

To help detect radon, the health department is offering test kit information and coupons for kits that cost $10 each, which includes the lab test. Homeowners can stop by the health department in City Hall to obtain the information or call Dray at 330-385-7900.

With the flu season in full swing, both Dray and health nurse Stephanie Summers reported on the disease and ways to avoid it, most notably getting a flu shot.

The health department has flu vaccine available for infants, teens and adults, including the high-dose vaccine for those 65 and older.

Summers encouraged anyone over the age of 6 months to be vaccinated.

Washing hands with soap and water, or using alcohol-based sanitizer, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth, covering coughs and staying home from work or school if sick were also given as ways to avoid spreading the flu.

Flu season runs from October through May, with January and February the peak months, and Dray said the Ohio Department of Health is already reporting significantly higher than normal hospitalizations for the disease this year.

In other matters, the board elected member Bob Duffy as president pro tem.