January is National Radon Action Month, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging Americans around the country to test their homes for radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer.
“Radon exposure is one of the most important public health issues affecting Americans today,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Nearly 21,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon. Each January, EPA recognizes National Radon Action Month by spreading awareness of prevention and mitigation methods that will save lives. I encourage everyone to take time this January to test and prevent radon exposure in their home.”
EPA’s radon program began more than 30 years ago as the scientific and public health community began to understand the risks associated with indoor radon exposure. Since then, elevated radon levels have been fixed in approximately two million homes in the United States and millions more have been tested. In many states, radon testing has become a standard part of real estate transactions. However, EPA estimates that about seven million high-radon homes remain across the United States. Testing is the only way to know if a home has an elevated level of radon. Affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are available online and at most home improvement and hardware stores. You can also hire a qualified radon professional to test your home. EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend taking action to fix your home if the radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air or more.
Taking action to reduce your exposure to radon is a long-term investment in your families’ health and your home. The cost of reducing radon in your home depends on how your home was built and the extent of the radon problem. Most homes, however, can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs. For more information on testing and contact information for radon resources in your state, please see: https://www.epa.gov/radon/find-information-about-local-radon-zones-and-state-contact-information