October 17th Marks Beginning of National Radon Awareness Week

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. In an effort to raise awareness about the hazards of radon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated October 17th through October 24th as National Radon Awareness Week.

According to James Gelina, President of the Air Quality Control Agency, “Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.” Though airborne levels of radon are typically diluted enough to not be harmful, high levels can congregate indoors. For those living in houses that reside in areas of high radon soil levels, this inhalation may eventually lead to lung cancer.

It is estimated that radon is responsible for 2.4 million global lung cancer deaths each year. In the United States, the dangerous gas is estimated to cause 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths annually.

Alarmingly, homes with excessively high levels of radon have been identified in virtually every county in the United States. In states such as Kansas, as many as one in four homes may have hazardous levels of radon. As a result of this, the EPA suggests that all homeowners have their homes checked for elevated radon levels. National Radon Awareness Week is a great time to schedule this important safety procedure.

Presently, the EPA recommends actions be taken to reduce radon concentrations if tested levels exceed four picocuries per liter of air (4 pCi/L). However, exposure levels as low as 2 pCi/L may be concentrated enough to cause health problems.

Radon testing is not expensive or time-consuming. Additionally, if excessive amounts of radon are found, solutions for mitigating the problem are fairly inexpensive. To learn more about scheduling a radon inspection and the dangers of this odorless gas, homeowners are urged to call 1-800-NO-RADON.