Radon testing urged during awareness month

COVINGTON -- January is Radon Action Month, and Environmental Protection Agency officials are urging citizens to test their homes to reduce exposure to the gas.

According to recent studies by the World Health Organization, radon gas is responsible for approximately 20,000 deaths in the United States and 100,000 deaths worldwide each year, and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

The EPA estimates that more than 8 million homes in the United States have dangerous levels of radon gas. The World Health Organization recently lowered the safe limit for indoor levels from 4.0 to 2.7 in response to studies indicating health risks at lower exposure levels.

"Radon test kits can be purchased from hardware stores, health departments, or online for around $20," aid Jamey Gelina a certified radiation mitigation specialist with the Air Quality Control Agency.

Short- or long-term kits can be purchased to test radon levels in the home. Short-term testing kits remain in the home for two to 90 days while long-term tests last longer than 90 days. Kits can be purchased by phone by calling the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS-RADON or 1-800-767-7236.

"By encouraging everyone to test their homes for radon and to take action when levels are elevated, we can all be a part of this life-saving initiative," said Ben Ingalls, a radon remediation system installer.

"Radon problems can be fixed in most homes for under $1,000."

Radon is a naturally occurring odorless gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon enters the home through foundation cracks and other openings. It can also be present in well water and can be released into the air through water sources.

To learn more, visit www.MitigationSystem.com.