Hartford —The is urging Connecticut residents to test their homes for radon gas, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health officials estimate that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.
Radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas formed from the natural decay of uranium, is found in rock, soil and water. While radon in outdoor air poses a relatively low threat to human health, radon can enter homes from the surrounding soil and become a health hazard inside buildings.
“Radon is present at elevated levels in about one of every five homes in Connecticut,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “However, because you can’t see or smell radon, people are often unaware that there might be a silent killer in their home.”
All Connecticut homes should be tested for radon and action should be taken to reduce high levels. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be ordered online from National Radon Program Services at http://sosradon.org/test-kits. Kits can also be purchased from the American Lung Association of New England by calling 1-800 LUNG USA.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that homes with radon levels at 4.0 pCi/L or higher should be fixed. Radon exposure at any level poses some health risk. Homeowners should consider reducing radon levels that are greater than 2.0 pCi/L.
Radon problems can be corrected by qualified radon contractors, with costs typically ranging between $1,200 and $1,500. A homeowner should hire a qualified radon mitigation (reduction) contractor to decrease airborne radon levels.
To learn more about radon including a list of qualified radon mitigation contractors, visit the DPH Radon Program web site at www.ct.gov/dph/radon or call (860) 509-7367.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.