According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oct. 20 to 26 is National Radon Action Week. Health agencies throughout the country have joined forces to promote awareness of the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute all agree that radon is a national health problem and encourage radon testing during the October awareness drive.
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas. One in 15 American homes contain high levels of radon. Millions of Americans are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. In fact, a recent study by Harvard University ranks radon as America’s number one in-home hazard. By taking simple steps to test a home for radon, this health hazard can be avoided.
Radon gas is not isolated to certain geographical areas or types of homes. Radon problems have been detected in homes in every county of the United States. It caused more American fatalities last year than carbon monoxide, fires and handguns combined. If a home hasn’t been tested for radon in the past two years the EPA and the Surgeon General urge citizens to take action. Contact your state radon office for information on locating qualified test kits or qualified radon testers.
The federal commitment made by the EPA, the General Services Administration and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Veterans’ Affairs will focus efforts on radon reduction and mitigation in homes, especially those of low-income families, many of whom do not have the resources to make the simple fixes necessary to protect their homes and loved ones. Learn more about the Federal Radon Action Plan at www.radonplan.org.
The federal consortium recently met with key leaders in the public health, environmental and private sectors to launch the federal action plan that includes both immediate and long-term steps to reduce radon exposure. Learn more at www.epa.gov/radon