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Check 'Tested Our House for Radon' Off Your January List of Things to Do
Release Date: 01/05/2009
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, firstname.lastname@example.org
PHILADELPHIA (January 5, 2009) - - Radon doesn't have to be the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. By testing for radon and taking any needed preventive steps you can protect yourself and your family from this health threat.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is an invisible, tasteless, radioactive gas that can become trapped indoors. When you breathe air containing radon, you are exposing yourself to the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is found all over the country and in any type of building including homes, offices, and schools. Because we spend most of our time indoors at this time of year, this is the best time to test our homes for radon.
While many health challenges are tough to solve and expensive, testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. For $20 you can buy a "do-it-yourself" radon test kit at a hardware store or retail outlet. Many of us had our homes tested when they were purchased, but that may have been 20 years ago. EPA recommends you get your home tested every five years, since foundations can shift over time.
If your test shows high levels of radon, confirm with another test and fix the problem. A high radon level might be lowered with a straight-forward radon venting system installed by a contractor. Mitigation costs generally run from $1,000 to $2,500. In new homes, builders can easily and economically include radon-resistant features during construction, and home buyers should ask for these. EPA also recommends that home buyers ask their builder to test for radon before they move in.
EPA estimates that one in 15 homes will have a radon level of four picocuries per liter of air or more, a level the agency considers high. Based on the national radon map, all of the mid-Atlantic states - - Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and Delaware - - have areas with elevated radon levels.
For more information about radon contact our regional website at: https://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/Indoor/radon.htm or contact our national website at https://www.epa.gov/radon or call 1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236).
You can also reach your state radon office on-line or by phone at:
Delaware Health and Social Services Administration at 302-739-4731
Maryland calls go to EPA Region 3 at 215-814-2086
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection at 717-783-3594
Virginia Radiological Health Programs at 804-786-5932
Washington D.C. Department of Public Health at 202-535-2999
West Virginia Radiological Health Program at 304-558-6716
January is National Radon Action Month: https://www.epa.gov/radon/nram/index.html
To download print, radio and television public service announcements about radon see: http://www.epapsa.com