DEC: This January, make sure to test your home for radon

ALBANY — January is National Radon Action Month and the New York state Department of Health would like to remind New Yorkers to test their homes for radon.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 21,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer each year. Radon is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas, and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

“Remembering to test your home for radon during the colder months is a simple act that may prevent you or a loved one from developing cancer,” Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “I encourage all New Yorkers to test their homes this season.”

Radon is present at elevated levels in approximately 37 percent of basements tested in homes across New York state.

Radon is naturally occurring, and disperses in outdoor air, but it can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings.

Homeowners can test their homes at any time; however, it is best to do so during the heating season when homes typically let in less outdoor air.

Every home should be tested initially and tested again every 5 years, after major renovations, weatherization or installation of a radon mitigation system. Low-cost test kits are available through the state Department of Health’s Radon Program: health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/testkit.htm.

Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs.

Information on radon mitigation can be found at health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/mitigation/what_is_mitigation.htm.

New this year, you can now track radon testing and levels in your county with the Department’s Radon Indicator at apps.health.ny.gov/statistics/environmental/public_health_tracking/tracker/#/radonStatebyYear.

For more information on radon, radon testing, mitigation, and radon-resistant new construction, visit: health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/radon.htm.

Contact the DOH Radon Program at (518) 402-7556 or [email protected]

By Kerry Minor

Leave a Reply