Importance of testing for high levels of radon in your home

Importance of testing for high levels of radon in your home

Henrietta Brewer
January 13, 2018

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the primary cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers and the secondary cause for smokers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are about 21,000 radon-induced lung cancer deaths nationally each year.

Radon can enter a house through cracks in concrete slabs, spaces behind brick veneer walls that rest on uncapped hollow-block foundations, pores and cracks in concrete blocks, floor-wall joints, exposed soil, as in a sump or crawl space, weeping (drain) tile, if drained to an open sump, mortar joints, loose fitting pipe penetrations, open tops of block walls, building materials such as brick, concrete, or rock.

The Macomb County Health Department is stressing radon testing in the home by giving away free testing kits to the public.

Radon levels vary throughout CT. The test is simple, quick, and low-priced. The good news is that exposure to radon gas is preventable. Long-term exposure can eventually cause lung cancer. "Taking steps for remediation, if needed, can be critical for indoor air quality, and improving the safety of your home". Radon-resistant construction should be incorporated for new homes as well as major remodels when air flow is altered. "Two houses next to each other, one can have it and one may not".

"Winter is simply a better time to test for radon because your house is more closed up than it is in the summer", Ridella said. Testing is safe and easy; you can even do it yourself.

Homeowners urged to test for radonIn recognition of National Radon Action Month, Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) urges all residents to test their homes for radon. Hours are 8 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. "By testing, you can take immediate action to reduce your home's radon level if necessary and help protect your family's health".

Tell family and friends to test so they are not exposed to a deadly gas in their homes.

Short-term radon detection kits are available for $10 at Teton County Environmental Health in the public health building at 460 E. Pearl Ave. Tests should be performed in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied.

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