The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families.
In the local community, the health department is encouraging homeowners to test their homes for radon during National Radon Action Month in January.
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air, but which can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings.
Scientists have long been concerned about the health risk of radon, but never before has there been such overwhelming proof that exposure to elevated levels of radon causes lung cancer in humans.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
"However," says Daren Deyaert, Dickinson-Iron District Health Department Environmental Health Director, "because you can't see or smell radon, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes."
Testing homes for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive.
Radon test kits can be purchased at the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department and during the month of January, the radon test kits will be available at a reduced cost.
The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department urges all Dickinson and Iron County residents to take action during this year's National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon.
Radon poses a serious threat to our community's health but there is a straightforward solution.
The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon.
Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.
The EPA lists four things residents can do during National Radon Action Month:
- Test your home: EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive. Learn more about testing your home, including how to obtain an easy-to-use test kit.
- Attend a National Radon Action Month event in your area. Look for radon events in your community. Kansas State University (KSU), in partnership with EPA, sponsors a National Radon Poster Contest. Entries for the National Radon Poster Contest are accepted from March through October each year. Students ages 9-14 from across the country are encouraged to create posters that raise radon awareness and encourage radon testing. For complete rules, visit sosradon.org.
- Spread the word: Spend time during National Radon Action Month encouraging others to learn about radon and test their homes. Tell family and friends about the health risk of radon. Encourage them to test their homes.
- Buy a radon-resistant home: If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction. Read more about radon-resistant new construction.