January is National Radon Action Month - Is this Deadly Killer in your House?

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages all Americans to test the air in their homes for the presence of radioactive radon gas.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages all Americans to test the air in their homes for the presence of radioactive radon gas. This January is a great time to start during National Radon Action Month. Radon is a natural form of radiation that is often found in rock and soil. Exposure to radon can cause serious health problems.

Each year, about 21,000 Americans die from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon gas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates radon to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after cigarette smoking. If you smoke and are exposed to radon, your chances of developing lung cancer can be ten times higher than your risk from smoking alone. Radon is odorless and invisible, making it crucial to test for radon levels.

The only way to know the radon levels in your home is with a radon test kit. Testing your home for radon is the most effective way to help keep your family safe and healthy. Reducing exposure protects families' health, saves lives and avoids the health care costs of radon-induced lung cancer. A home with reduced radon levels is safer for present and future occupants.

Do-it-yourself radon test kits are affordable and easy. A qualified testing professional can also be used. The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend fixing the home when the radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air or higher. If this is the case, mitigation systems should be installed to reduce the radon levels.

A working mitigation system is a positive selling point for your home. Testing for radon is a standard part of real estate transactions in many areas. If you are building or buying a new home, ensure that radon-resistant features are included.

Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk. Taking the proper actions to reduce your exposure to radon is a long-term investment in your health and your home. Make 2019 a healthier and safer year by testing your home for radon!

For more information on testing, test kits, fixing your home or finding a qualified radon professional, contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Radon Section at 800-648-0394 or visit their website at www.epa.gov/radon external link. For more information about National Radon Action Month, visit the EPA's website at https://www.epa.gov/radon/national-radon-action-month-information

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