Health Department Recommends Testing Your Home
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month to increase the public’s awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant, new construction practices.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted but without noticing, can be present at dangerous levels in your home. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths, making radon the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America, claiming the lives of an estimated 21,000 Americans each year. Since it is difficult to identify any immediate symptoms related to radon exposure and might take years before health problems appear, understanding radon is important.
According to the EPA, Radon can get into buildings in the following ways:
Cracks in solid floors and walls
Gaps in suspended floors
Gaps around service pipes
Cavities inside walls
The water supply
The EPA maps Harford County in the high risk zone for radon exposure. “Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are exposed to high levels of radon,” explains Harford County Health Officer, Susan Kelly. “The Harford County Health Department recommends that all homes be tested for radon gas. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure.”
For more information on radon, please refer to the health department’s website.