January is National Radon Action Month.
Radon gas: You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. But if it’s in your home, it can make you sick. As a matter of fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. (smoking is first). Radon is produced when uranium in soil, rock and water breaks down and gets into the air. It can be found anywhere in the U.S. and sneaks into buildings through places like cracks in floors and gaps around pipes.
Viewer Tip: Winter is a good time to test your home for radon. When windows and doors are sealed tightly, radon levels inside your home can rise. Plus, people generally spend more time inside at this time of year, increasing risk of exposure.
If you want to test your home for radon, start by getting in touch with your state radon contact. Your state contact can tell you if there are specific requirements for measuring and mitigating radon in your State.
You can order a radon test kit or find one at some home improvement stores. Check out EPA’s website for several options: http://www.epa.gov/radon/radontest.html.
Learn how to use a test kit and find out what to do if your home has high radon levels: http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html.
(Source: U.S. EPA. “National Radon Action Month: Consumer Information.” http://www.epa.gov/radon/nram/public.html)