Testing your home for radon is inexpensive and necessary

You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. surgeon general urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon.

Radon can be found all over the U.S. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It gets into the air you breathe. The greatest exposure usually comes from your home, where you spend most of your time.

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.

Four things you can do include:

1. 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.

2. Look for radon events in your community.

3. Spread the word—Tell your family and friends about the health risks of radon. Encourage them to test their homes. Plan an activity in your community to help raise awareness. Attract media attention by working with a local official to get a radon proclamation.

4. Buy a radon-resistant home­—If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction.

Radon testing kits can be purchased at your local Extension office for a minimal charge.

For more information, contact Kylie Ludwig, community development and financial management agent, at [email protected] or 620-784-5337.