DPH offering free radon test kits during January, National Radon Action Month
Hartford — The Connecticut State Department of Public Health (DPH) urges Connecticut residents to test their homes for radon gas, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health officials estimate that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.
Radon is a radioactive gas formed from the decay of naturally occurring uranium. It is found in rock, soil and water. Radon in outdoor air poses a relatively low risk to human health, but it can enter homes from the surrounding soil and become a health hazard inside buildings.
Radon is odorless and invisible, and people often don’t know this silent killer could be in their homes. That is why testing for radon and reducing elevated levels of this poisonous gas is so important. It could save the lives of you and your loved ones.
The DPH Radon Program recommends that all Connecticut homes be tested for radon. Testing is recommended in the winter months, when radon tends to build up indoors. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive. Connecticut residents may obtain a free radon test kit by completing an online form on the DPH Radon Program website (www.ct.gov/dph/radon). Test kits will be available during the month of January and while supplies last. Test kits can also be purchased from the American Lung Association of New England by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA or at your local hardware store.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that homes with radon levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L be fixed. Homeowners should consider reducing their potential lung cancer risk by fixing homes with radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. Smokers exposed to radon have a much higher risk for developing lung cancer.
Radon problems can be corrected by a qualified radon contractor, with costs typically ranging between $1,200 and $1,500. A homeowner should hire a qualified radon mitigation (reduction) contractor to decrease airborne radon levels.
To learn more about radon and to obtain a list of qualified radon mitigation contractors, please visit the DPH Radon Program web site at www.ct.gov/dph/radon. The site also includes additional resources including a video that provides step-by-step instructions on how to test your home for radon.