Health Department encourages radon testing

State offers free radon test kits

It comes from the ground and can accumulate in homes, raising the risk of lung cancer. It is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium found in our soil, a natural and expected occurrence. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

Radon production occurs naturally in soil and rocks. The aggregated information from the test results will be used to update statewide Radon Potential Maps, which show the likelihood of radon in a specific region. Radon test kits can also be purchased at local hardware stores.

Lustik says one in four homes in Jefferson County will test positive for radon gas.

January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits to Nevadans from Jan. 1 through February 28.

Steve Demick, county environmental health director, in a news release encouraged people to take advantage of the chance to test their homes for radon gas. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and the EPA has identified 4 pCi/L as a recommended action level.

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The risk to smokers increases significantly when living in a high-radon environment, such as our area.

Because radon poses a real health threat to Coloradans, Gov. John Hickenlooper has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Safety in declaring January as National Radon Action Month for the state.

According to the University of Toledo's Ohio Radon Information System, 11,259 Greene County homes have been tested for radon. The good news is that radon can be reduced by easy, low-priced home testing and fix. Logan County has an average radon level of 4.4 pCi/L.

To get a free test kit, homeowners can log onto www.uchd.net/radon. Most often, a radon mitigation system is installed in the lowest level of homes and ventilated outside above the rooftop to prevent radon gas from entering the house. Then, seal the kit and mail it to the certified laboratory for analysis. As with many home repairs, the cost of radon mitigation varies.

Story courtesy Greene County Public Health.

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