January is National Radon Action Month. It’s a time to increase awareness of the dangers of radon gas and encourage homeowners to take proactive steps to safeguard their homes and loved ones. Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that occurs naturally in the environment, in soils and groundwater. As a gas, it can seep into homes and other structures through foundations and even well water. Exposure to radon poses serious health risks for people, with children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues at a higher risk. It is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which makes it the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the nation. Only smoking is connected to more lung cancer deaths. We can do our part to cut that risk and create a healthier living environment for ourselves and our families, by understanding the importance of radon testing and mitigation. And National Radon Action Month is a great time to get started, testing your home with affordable (sometimes even free) and easy-to-use kits. But, how do you test your home for radon? Well, it’s simple:
- Place a detector in the lowest living area.
- Leave the detector in place for the time specified in the kit’s instructions. Kits can collects from 2 to 90 days (or even longer, for long-term testing).
- Ship the detector to the lab for analysis.
- Get the results.
- General information
- Free test kits: www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/Outreach/testkitrequest.html
- Frequently Asked Questions: www.epa.gov/radon/radon-frequently-asked-questions
- Home Buyer’s Guide: www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-05/documents/hmbuygud.pdf
by Maria Portelos-Rometo