January is reminder to test for radon levels

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By The Staff

January is National Radon Month. The purpose of the month is to draw attention to radon as a serious public health issue and to motivate Americans to take action to protect themselves from radon health effects. In the state of Kentucky, Bullitt County is located in ZONE 1, which has the highest potential for exposure.

Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless gas that is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but when trapped in buildings, can be harmful at elevated levels. The science on radon has been formidable over the years, but never before have we had such overwhelming scientific consensus and robust data to support that exposure to elevated levels of radon causing lung cancer in humans.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in February, 1998, presented the findings of their Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VI Report: “The Health Effects of Exposure to Indoor Radon.” This report by the NAS is the most definitive accumulation of scientific data on indoor radon. The report confirms that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and that is a serious public health problem. The NAS concluded that radon causes between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year. However, because you can’t see or smell radon, people tend to minimize the health effects and ignore the possibility that is might exist in elevated levels in their homes.

Testing homes for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive, and if discovered, radon problems can be fixed. Radon test kits can be obtained from the Bullitt County Health Department by calling 543-2415 or 955-7837. Testing your home for radon is as simple as opening a package, placing a radon detector in a designated area, and after the prescribed number of days, sealing the detector back in the package and mailing to a lab.

Bullitt County Health Department is aligned with the American Lung Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to identify and fix radon problems in their homes.

Bullitt County Health Department urges Bullitt County residents to take action during this year’s National Radon Month by testing their hoes for elevated levels of radon. It is a serious public health hazard with a straightforward solution. For more information on radon, radon testing, and radon mitigation, call Bullitt County Health Department at 543-2415 or 955-7837.