FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
January 15, 2013 Contact: William Gerrish
One out of five CT homes likely have elevated levels of radon
Hartford – State health officials today urged Connecticut residents to test their home for radon and take other steps to ensure they have a healthy home.
A host of environmental hazards exist in the home that can negatively impact our health. Indoor air pollutants like radon, tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide, contaminated private well water, lead-based paint in older homes, and asbestos-containing materials in our homes put our health at risk. These household dangers can make us very sick, and lead to increased health care costs, poor school performance, and missed days at work and school.
“A growing body of evidence links poor housing conditions to asthma, lead poisoning, lung cancer, and unintentional injuries,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Any home may have health hazards, but fortunately, there are many effective and relatively simple steps to help identify and correct them. Testing your home for radon is one way to identify an environmental hazard in your home that could have an impact on your health.”
Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is estimated that about 20 percent of Connecticut homes have elevated levels of radon gas. Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.
DPH recommends that all Connecticut homes be tested for radon, a colorless and odorless gas. Testing is simple and inexpensive. If levels are elevated, steps can be taken to reduce high levels by qualified radon contractors, with costs typically ranging between $1200 and $1500. To obtain a kit, call 1-800-Lung USA.
Several local health departments have educational materials and test kits available and are an excellent source for information and testing devices. Contact your local health department to see what resources they have available.
Healthy Homes Initiative/Resources
Last year, DPH formed the Healthy Homes Initiative to promote safe and healthy home environments by addressing physical, chemical, and toxic hazards in the home. Several of the department’s programs integrate a healthy homes approach in their work through a combination of education and outreach, workforce development, and home-based interventions that address the underlying causes of multiple home hazards.
As part of this initiative, DPH compiled data on housing conditions and housing-related health issues to produce the Connecticut Healthy Homes Data Book. The data book compares Connecticut housing data with national statistics, and addresses a number of environmental hazards in the home and how they impact our health.
To view the data book and learn more about what you can do to make your home healthy, please visit www.ct.gov/dph/healthyhomes or call the Department of Public Health at (860) 509-7367.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.