January is National Radon Action Month; prepare to test your home

January is National Radon Action Month; prepare to test your home

January is National Radon Action Month; prepare to test your home

High levels of radon in your home can expose you and your family to radiation, which can damage your lungs and increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that forms naturally when radioactive metals break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the number-one cause among non-smokers, responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. And since radon levels can change from year to year, you should test every couple of years to make sure your system is working properly.

Kendall County's geology is rich in uranium deposits, capable of producing high levels of radon gas.

Testing for radon is a simple process.

Free test kits are available at the Eureka County Cooperative Extension, 701 S. Main St., Eureka. During the winter, home heating systems tend to draw in radon gas from the soil, increasing radon levels inside the home.

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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. The Lincoln County Health Department recommends testing for radon if you have never tested your home before or during real estate transactions. Options for remediation of radon in the home are available at the CDPH Indoor Radon Program. Short-term test kits run cost from $7.30 to $12.

If elevated radon levels are detected in a home, public health recommends that a certified professional radon inspector mitigate the problem.

"Soil that's kind of in the Redlands is kind of a shale soil and they're usually higher levels in that type of soil versus the granite in the Mesa". Perform a radon test after installing a new heating system or central air conditioning. "It's an easier time to test than the summer months". The envelope is sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality laboratory, where turnaround for the results is approximately two weeks. Place the small, non-obtrusive test kit in the lowest living level of the home for three to seven days.

The Extension Office has partnered with San Juan Basin Public Health to present several community meetings to discuss radon.

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