January is National Radon Awareness Month

By on January 28, 2012

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Healthy Places Coalition is urging homeowners to have their homes tested for the presence of this odorless, tasteless and colorless gas as part of National Radon Awareness Month.

Radon is a radioactive gas, estimated to cause as many as 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year throughout the United States. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today, following tobacco use. Kane County is designated by the USEPA as an area with a high potential of exceeding the recommended level of radon gas in homes. Test results for homes in Kane County have found that 27 percent of tested homes exceed the recommended limit for radon gas, which is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air). Test results from some areas within Kane County commonly exceed this level.

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy—it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon. Do-it-yourself test kits are cheap ($15 to $30) and can be purchased at hardware stores, home improvement stores and online. These kits are cost effective and easy ways to screen your home. Professional testing services are also available. To find a professional in your area, visit www.radon.illinois.gov and click on “List of licensed measurement professionals.”

More information about National Radon Awareness Month is available by visiting the U.S. EPA radon website at www.epa.gov/radon. To learn more about the new radon law in Illinois, visit the IEMA radon website at www.radon.illinois.gov.