Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, with the Environmental Protection Agency estimating that radon causes 21,000 deaths in the United States each year. Test kits may be purchased at home improvement stores.
The Minnesota Department of Health reports that only 1 percent of homes have been tested for radon in the state during the most recent five-year period.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that forms from the natural decay of uranium.
Due to the state's mineral rich geology, about half of Colorado homes have radon levels higher than the recommended amount. In particular, with January being federally recognized as Radon Action Month, the health center has designated its location in Edwards as one of the places in the county to pick up a testing kit for free. It can enter homes through cracks or openings in walls or foundations.
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, radon in homes is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Radon mitigation professionals are trained to reduce radon in homes using ventilation and depressurization systems and other techniques.
"The increase in home testing is a positive trend, but it's clear from the data that people are being exposed to high levels of radon who don't know it", said Dan Tranter, supervisor of the Indoor Air Program for MDH, in a release.
To help prevent exposure, the Saginaw Department of Public Health is offering free radon testing kits throughout January.
Since radon mitigation procedures can cost on average $800-$1,200, CDPHE also offers financial assistance for lower income families.
Testing is easy and takes 3-7 days.
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. For more information, call the Idaho CareLine at 211.
Merry agreed that the problem is a wide-ranging issue, but that the available solutions are important for a healthy community and economy in the county. "It's investing in a healthier family and community and economy; the dots are all connected, so it's been fun to be part of such an fantastic thing".