January 10, 2005

Contact: William Gerrish, 860-509-7270
e-mail: william.gerrish@po.state.ct.us

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Department of Public Health Urges All Connecticut Residents to Test for Radon Gas

Hartford - The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) urges Connecticut residents to test their home for radon, and, if necessary, mitigate high radon levels.


Radon is a naturally occurring colorless and odorless radioactive gas. Radon enters the home through small cracks and other openings in the basement or foundation. At elevated levels, it can increase one’s risk of developing lung cancer.


Public health officials have found that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, behind cigarette smoking. Cigarette smokers who have radon in their home have an even greater risk of developing lung cancer. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 15,000-30,000 U.S. residents die from radon-induced lung cancer each year.


“We estimate that approximately one out of every five homes in Connecticut have high radon levels,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H. “Most of Connecticut is located in a zone where there is a high to moderate potential for having a high radon result in the air or water. That is why it is so important for people to test for radon in their homes.” The only way to know if a home has high radon levels is to test for it. Radon levels tend to increase inside the home during the heating season when homes are closed. DPH, the American

Lung Association of Connecticut, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are working together to promote radon awareness, testing and mitigation during January, which has been designated Radon Action Month across the country.


The American Lung Association of Connecticut offers radon test kits for $12. The price includes tax, postage and handling. Kits sell at retail outlets between $18 to $26. Since smokers are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer if radon is present, information on quitting smoking will also be included.


To purchase a kit, send a check for $12 to the American Lung Association of Connecticut at 45 Ash Street, East Hartford, CT 06108. A test kit can also be purchased by calling 1-800-LUNG USA or by going online at www.alact.org.


For additional information on radon, contact the Connecticut Department of Public Health Radon Program at (860) 509-7367 or visit our website at http://www.ct.gov/dph