WATERTOWN — January is National Radon Action Month, and the Jefferson County Public Health Service is reminding residents to test their homes for the invisible, odorless and tasteless gas.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 21,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer each year, and radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Approximately 26 percent of homes tested in Jefferson County have radon levels above 4 pCi/L, which is the EPA’s “action” limit, and 19 percent of Jefferson County homes have between 2 and 4 pCi/L, for which the EPA suggests that homeowners “consider action.”
Due to these numbers, JCPHS will once again be offering free radon detectors to the first 100 people. The process is simply filling out a one-page form, following the directions for testing, and mailing the detector to the lab in the postage paid envelope.
Radon is naturally occurring, and disperses in outdoor air, but it can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. Homeowners can test their homes at any time; however, it is best to do so during the heating season when homes typically let in less outdoor air. Every home should be tested initially and again every five years, after major renovations, weatherization or installation of a radon mitigation system.
You can track radon testing and levels in Jefferson County using the NYS Department’s Radon Indicator at https://on.ny.gov/2CkgR9Z.