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Homeowners should test for radon
13 January 2018, 01:10 | Lena Norman
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According to healthfinder.gov about 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States have a level of radon that needs to be reduced and half of Colorado homes have radon levels that put residents at risk for future health problems. These easy-to-use home test kits are available at via www.uchd.net/radon.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium. "Also when we have a patient with lung cancer who's a non-smoker, the first thing we do is check their home for radon". As radon decays, solid particles are released, easily breathed in and deposited in the lungs.
Analysis of test data from 2010-2016 found that about 40 percent of Minnesota homes have risky levels of radon (4 pCi/L or above). You can order here and find more information about radon gas. Kits can be picked up at the Outagamie County Public Health office.
Testing kits can also be purchased at the American Lung Association website or by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA.
Testing is the beginning of prevention, and if test results indicate elevated radon levels, there are other steps needed to reduce the risk of lung cancer. The cost for a short term radon kit is $8 and is kept in your home for 2-4 days. The unsafe gas sneaks its way into your home by moving into the air from the ground and then through the cracks and holes in your foundation. "So we chested in the winter cause that's when your house is closed up and that's where there's the greatest possibility for radon concentration".
"Winter is the best time to get a test kit", said Jeff Webb, environmental health director at Greene County Public Health. Or you may wish to seek the services of one of many local licensed radon measurement professionals. People set it in their homes for several days, then drop it in a postage-paid envelope and send it for processing to a laboratory approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If testing shows that there is a radon problem, the homeowner will need to install a system that will prevent the radon from accumulating in the home. For more information, people can call the health department at 217-379-9281.
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