KEY POINTS

  • A former USA hockey player warned everybody about the dangerous radon gas that could be present at home
  • Former hockey player was diagnosed with lung cancer at age of 31
  • Professional and personal testing could help prevent the danger caused by radon

A former USA Olympic hockey star wants everybody in America to be aware of a gas that causes lung cancer.

Rachael Malmberg was a former Olympic hockey player who is also a lung cancer survivor. Shockingly, the cause of her cancer had nothing to do with cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke. Instead, Malmberg discovered that it was from a toxic gas called “radon.”

According to EPA, breathing radon over time increases the risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. In fact, U.S. estimates about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer.

Radon gas has been a very dangerous problem because it is commonly present in homes and buildings. However, what’s worse is that radon can’t be seen, smell, or taste.

Malmberg was only 31 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. During her hockey days, Malmberg was completely healthy with regular exercise. But all of a sudden, she started experiencing consistent pain in her back and ribs, 

The ex-Olympic hockey player never thought radon was the cause until after doing some research about the dangerous gas. Upon learning about radon, she quickly decided to test have her home tested, News5 Cleveland reported.

“People think lung cancer, they think smoker or secondhand smoke or older with asbestos and I didn’t fit any of that mold,” Malmberg revealed.

Determined to know more about radon, Malmberg also went back and tested her childhood home. To her surprise, results from both tests showed high levels of the poisonous gas.

After years of fighting cancer and researching about radon, Malmberg wants to share her story and provide awareness about the dangers of the said gas present in most homes.

“I have a true story, I’m a living example of the causes that radon has on people so it is super important for me to pass that along,” Malmberg said.

Jessica Karns of A-Z Solutions, a company that does testing and radon mitigation, explained that radon gas really finds a way into everybody’s home. However, it could be totally prevented through the help of professional services.

“It comes in through the foundation, it comes in through cracks in the basement, conduits, sump pumps, dirt crawl spaces. It follows the path of least resistance so it’s going to find a way into your home,” Karns explained.

Following the Radon Action Month (January), Malmberg strongly suggested that having homes tested every two years, or after any renovations can already prevent radon. Another way is by purchasing an at-home test at hardware stores and use them for testing.

“I think if anything its worth the testing and the cost up front to protect yourself and your family for a long-term life,” Malmberg pointed out.