At-Home Safety: January Is National Radon Action Month

At-Home Safety: January Is National Radon Action Month

You can't see it. You can't smell it. But it can still kill you. Every year in the United States, about 21,000 people die from radon-related lung cancer. To combat this silent threat, EPA is promoting January as National Radon Action Month to raise awareness and educate communities about radon risks and mitigation.

Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can seep into a home from underground. If radon accumulates, it may lead to lung cancer – in fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, radon can be found in every state in the country, and elevated radon levels occur in as many as one in 15 homes.

"Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family," McCarthy stressed.

EPA offered information on how residents can protect themselves from radon:

Test. EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes, both with and without basements, be tested for radon. Affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are available at home improvement and hardware stores and online. A qualified radon tester also can be hired.

Fix. EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels above 4 Picocuries per Liter (pCi/L). Addressing high radon levels often costs the same as other minor home repairs.

Save a Life. Testing and fixing elevated levels of radon in the home can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home and community.

To learn how to Test, Fix, Save a Life, obtain a text kit or contact your state radon office, visit http://www.epa.gov/radon or call 1-800-SOS-RADON. For more information on National Radon Action Month, visit http://radonmonth.wordpress.com/.

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