Radon Awareness Month (January, 2023)
According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency:
- Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year.
- EPA estimates that more than 10% of radon-related lung cancer deaths occur among people who have never smoked cigarettes.
- Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States has high radon levels.
January is Radon Awareness Month. The aim of National Radon Action Month is to increase the public’s awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction practices. All month long, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is giving away free radon test kits to help you determine if radon is present in your home.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally released in the air from rocks and soil. It can be found in the air outside and can get inside buildings and homes, where it can build up. There is no known safe level of radon. Aiming for the lowest radon level you can achieve in your home will reduce your risk of harmful health effects, including lung cancer.
You should test your home’s radon levels
- If it’s never been tested or radon levels are unknown
- When preparing to buy or sell
- Before and after any renovations, especially after making any repairs to reduce radon levels
- Before making any lifestyle changes in the home that would cause someone to spend more time in the basement or lower level (like converting a basement to a bedroom)
In Michigan, nearly one in four homes is expected to exceed the recommended federal action level and, in some counties, as many as 40-45% of homes could be affected. Because of this, DHD#10 is working to educate the public about the importance of testing their homes and building for radon exposure. Testing should occur in all homes, whether new or old, every two years. The only way to know for sure if a home has a buildup of radon is to test for it. That’s why, January is the perfect time to pick up a free test kit at any one of our ten DHD#10 offices.
For more information on radon or radon testing, please visit www.epa.gov/radon. You can also call 888-217-3904 to connect with your local DHD#10 Environmental Health office.