Test Your Home. Protect Your Health.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. As part of this safety campaign, American’s are urged to protect their health by testing their homes for radon.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water from the natural decay of uranium. While levels in outdoor air pose a relatively low threat to human health, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. You can’t see, smell, or taste it, but an elevated radon level in your home may be affecting the health of your family.
Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has radon, your risk of lung cancer can be higher.
Radon has been found in elevated levels in homes in every state. High levels of radon in homes usually come from the surrounding soil. Radon gas enters through cracks and openings—such as sump pump lids and plumbing features—on the lower levels of your home. Hot spots include basements, first-floor rooms, and garages, but radon can be found anywhere in your house.
When a home is closed up during cooler weather months, radon can soar to a harmful level. For this reason, winter is usually an ideal time to test a home for radon.
Testing your home for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive. Many radon test kits can be found online or in home improvement stores. Follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement of the device and where to send the device after the test to find out your radon level.
You may also contact your state radon program for information on how to obtain a test kit from a radon measurement professional. Some states also offer free or discounted test kits to the public.
If a high radon level is detected in your home, take steps to fix it to protect yourself and your family. For more information about what you can do to protect your health and take action against radon during National Radon Action Month, visit https://www.epa.gov/radon/national-radon-action-month-information
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