Five Things You Can Do During National Radon Action Month
1. Test your home - EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive. Learn more about testing your home, including how to obtain an easy-to-use test kit.
- Where Can I Get a Radon Test Kit?
The National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University offers discounted test kits available to purchase online. You may complete the test kit order form electronically and print it out to mail or fax in. You may download a radon test kit coupon and mail it. http://sosradon.org/test-kits
National Radon Program Services
2323 Anderson Ave., Suite 300
Manhattan, KS 66502
- Many radon test kits can be found online or in home improvement stores. Follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement of the device and where to send the device after the test to find out your radon level.
- Contact your state radon program for information on how to obtain a test kit from a radon measurement professional. Some states also offer free or discounted test kits to the public. https://www.epa.gov/radon/find-information-about-local-radon-zones-and-state-contact-information
2. Who Should I Hire to Test or Fix My Home?
If you are interested in finding a service provider to test for radon or mitigate (fix) your home, contact your state radon program for help in finding qualified professionals in your state.
Currently, EPA requires state receiving indoor radon grants to maintain and provide the public with a list of only those radon service providers who are credentialed either through:
An existing state-run process established under a state’s regulatory requirements for credentialing radon service providers (e.g., state license), or
One of the two currently-recognized national radon proficiency programs:
National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP)
Toll Free: (800) 269-4174 or (828) 890-4117
Fax: (828) 890-4161
Email: National Radon Proficiency Program (email@example.com)
National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
Toll Free: (866) 329-3474
Fax: (914) 345-1169
Email: National Radon Safety Board (info@NRSB.org)
3. Spread the word
Spend time during National Radon Action Month encouraging others to learn about radon and test their homes.Tell your family and friends about the health risk of radon. Encourage them to test their homes.
Basic Radon facts https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-08/documents/july_2016_radon_factsheet.pdf
Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer In Non-smokers and Smokers Alike
- Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond five years, depending upon demographic factors. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented.
- Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking causes an estimated 160,000* cancer deaths in the U.S. every year (American Cancer Society, 2004). And the rate among women is rising. Lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the number one cause of death among women. A smoker who is also exposed to radon has a much higher risk of lung cancer.
- Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
- Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of lung cancer and responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Smoking affects non-smokers by exposing them to secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke can have serious consequences for children’s health, including asthma attacks, affecting the respiratory tract (bronchitis, pneumonia), and may cause ear infections. For smokers the risk of lung cancer is significant due to the synergistic effects of radon and smoking. For this population about 62 people in a 1,000 will die of lung-cancer, compared to 7.3 people in a 1,000 for never smokers. Put another way, a person who never smoked (never smoker) who is exposed to 1.3 pCi/L has a 2 in 1,000 chance of lung cancer; while a smoker has a 20 in 1,000 chance of dying from lung cancer.
4. View or order EPA's free radon publications. https://www.epa.gov/radon/publications-about-radon
5. Buy a radon-resistant home - If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction. Read more about radon-resistant new construction, "Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide to Build Radon-Resistant Homes".Build Green: It's Easy to Build New Homes Radon-Resistant. https://www.epa.gov/radon/building-radon-out-step-step-guide-how-build-radon-resistant-homes
Directory of Builders https://www.epa.gov/radon/directory-builders-using-radon-resistant-new-construction-rrnc
Image courtesy of The National Radon Poster Contest Winner Sunny, Age 14 of Louisville, KY