Celebrate a Healthy New Year with a Radon Test During National Radon Action Month
To kick off National Radon Action Month, the Connecticut State Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Connecticut residents to test their homes for radon gas, the leading national environmental cause of cancer mortality. Health officials estimate that radon is responsible for more than 21,100 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.
A naturally occurring, radioactive gas formed from the natural decay of uranium, radon is found in rock, soil and water. While radon in outdoor air poses a relatively low risk to human health, it can enter homes from the surrounding soil and become a health hazard inside buildings.
“Because you can’t see, taste, or smell radon, people are often unaware that this silent killer could be in their homes,” said Allison Sullivan with DPH’s Lead, Radon and Healthy Homes Program. “That is why testing for radon and reducing elevated levels is so important, and could save your life or the lives of your loved ones.”
The DPH Radon Program recommends that all Connecticut homes be tested for radon. Testing is recommended in the winter months. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive. Thirty-three local health department/district partners were provided a total of 2,200 free test kits for distribution in their local communities to support radon awareness. Visit the DPH Radon Program website at ct.gov/radon to view a map of the local health partners and contact them directly to determine eligibility. Test kits can also be purchased from the American Lung Association 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 qualified radon contractors, 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 website at ct.gov/radon.