Radon can pose serious health risks, test your home now

13 January, 2018, 01:10 | Author: Clint Gray
  • State offers free radon test kits

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that naturally comes from the soil. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

You're supposed to test for radon in the lowest part of your house and sometimes that may mean in your closet. You can order here and find more information about radon gas. But the only way to know if radon is present is to test it.

If you haven't tested your home for radon recently, now's a good time.

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The Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program provides free, home radon testing for low to moderate-income families and seniors.

Macomb County Health Director Bill Ridella said that while radon testing kits are available for free to the public all year long, officials want to stress the importance of obtaining a kit at the start of each year because radon isn't something that's on many people's minds.

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. 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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Place the kit for a few days, away from ventilation and use the winter months to test your home. Once it is indoors, radon can accumulate to unhealthy levels.

McFarland added that it's important for people to do not forget to correctly fill out the card that comes with the kit, indicating a start date and time when the test began followed by the end date and time. If high levels of radon are detected, licensed contractors can install mitigation systems to eliminate the problem and protect you and your family.

The cost of a radon mitigation system can vary, but typically runs around $1,200. If levels are elevated, the mitigation system is adjusted and the resident should test again to be sure levels are below 4.0 pCi/L. Mitigation is simply redirection of air flow. The envelope is sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality laboratory, where turnaround for the results is approximately two weeks.

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Story courtesy Greene County Public Health.

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