- Education and promotion of radon awareness
- Distribution of radon testing kits
EPA estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. To obtain a FREE test kit, please call the Carroll County Health Department at (330) 627-4866 ext. 22. Test. Fix. Save A Life. To learn more about radon in your home, visit www.epa.gov/radon
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is produced in the ground through the normal decay of uranium and radium. High radon levels have been found in every state. Dig up the top 6 feet of an acre of land and you will find, on average, about 50 pounds of uranium. Uranium decays to radium, which then decays to radon. Radon levels vary from home to home, you cannot gauge the radon level in your home by the results in a neighbor's home. Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon all major health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association agree with that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. Millions of homes have elevated radon levels. Radon can be a problem in all types of homes, old homes, new homes, drafty homes or homes without basements.
The EPA has set the level of concern at 4 Pico Curies of radon per liter of air (4 pCi/L). This is a concentration of 70,000 atoms of radon in each liter of air (about 2 million radon atoms in every cubic foot of air). This is a very low concentration, roughly one radon atom in a billion-billion air atoms, however, the radon atoms are radioactive and that makes the difference. We breathe about 20 liters of air into our lungs each minute. At 4 pCi/L we accumulate about 10,000 radioactive atoms in our lungs, trachea, and bronchi every minute.
The Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels.
How Can I Test My Home for Radon?
The radon testing kits available at the Carroll County Health Department through a grant provide a simple kit to test radon levels in homes. The test kit is designed to be exposed from 72 to 168 hours (three to seven days). The testing can be completed during any season as long as closed conditions can be maintained in the home throughout the testing period. This means windows and external doors should be kept closed for 12 hours before starting the test and remain closed until the end of the testing period. This doesn't mean a family must change its normal entry and exit routines, just close the doors when entering or exiting the home.
See also: Radon in The News
- Consumers and Homeowners: Testing and Fixing Your Home
- Radon Causes Lung Cancer: the Scientific Proof
- Media Resources for Partners and Stakeholders
- Builders: Building New Homes with Radon - reducing Features
- Testing and Fixing Schools
- Technical Resources for Radon Professionals
- How to Order EPA Publications
- Get the files to print some of the publications yourself.