January is National Radon Month
Posted by Tyler Robinson
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated January 2023 as National Radon Action Month. The purpose of this designation is to remind citizens of the county of the serious danger that radon gas poses to us in our homes. It is estimated that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the United States. Approximately 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. The U.S. Surgeon General warns that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking and the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that is released in rock, soil, and water from the natural decay of uranium. One of the problems with radon is that it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. The only way to tell if you have radon gas in your home is to test for it with a test kit. It is imperative for the public to know that 26% of the homes tested in 2019 in Iroquois County tested at or above 4 Picocurie per liter (pCi/L). Mitigation is highly recommended with test results of 4 pCi/L or above. If your test results are at 2 pCi/L you should consider consulting with a mitigation professional.
Assessing the radon in your home:
2pCi/L is the same as smoking 4 cigarettes per day or having 100 chest X-rays per year
4pCi/L is the same as smoking 8 cigarettes per day or having 200 chest X-rays per year
10pCi/L is like smoking more than a pack a day
Free test kits are available at the Iroquois County Public Health Department.
Using the test kit is easy, just follow the directions provided with the test kit.
For further questions and concerns, please contact Kate Mueller, Director of Environmental Health at 815-432-2483 or firstname.lastname@example.org .