DPH Encourages Residents to Test Their Home for Radon as Part of National Radon Action Month
Participating Local Health Departments Giving out Free Radon Test Kits While Supplies LastConnecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) this week is encouraging state residents to test their homes for radon gas, the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths. January marks National Radon Action Month. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas formed from the natural decay of uranium. It is found in rock, soil, and water. Health officials estimate that radon is responsible for more than 21,100 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. 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.
“Many people are unaware of the harmful health risk of Radon in their homes. Radon is not detectable without testing because you cannot see, taste, or smell it,” said Connecticut DPH Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell. “We want to assure that all Connecticut residents have the information and resources to have their homes tested for Radon and take whatever steps are necessary to reduce elevated levels. This can be critical to protecting against cancer, and saving your life or the lives of your loved ones. I would encourage anyone with questions to check in with their local health department to find out more.”
DPH’s Lead Poisoning Prevention and Radon Program recommends that all Connecticut homes be tested for radon. Testing is simple, inexpensive, and should be conducted in the winter months when windows and doors are closed. DPH provided 2,000 free tests kits to 36 local health department/district partners for distribution in their communities. The DPH Radon Program offers a map at this link: www.ct.gov/radon where all local health partners for radon testing are listed. Residents are encouraged to contact their local health department directly to determine availability and eligibility for a free test kit. Test kits can also be purchased from your local hardware store or the American Lung Association by calling 1-800-LUNGUSA or visiting www.lung.org.
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 reducing 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 levels can be reduced by hiring nationally certified radon mitigation professionals.
To learn more about radon and to obtain a list of radon mitigation contractors, please visit the DPH Radon Program website at www.ct.gov/radon.