1 out of 5 Florida homes tested has elevated radon levels

January is National Radon Action Month

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure.

Orange County residents are encouraged to take action to protect their homes and families during this year’s National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon. Radon poses a serious threat to our community’s health but there is a straightforward solution. Testing homes for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores. Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost.

“Everyone should be educated on the dangers of radon, and they should test their homes for radon because it is a silent killer,” says Dr. Kevin Sherin, Health Officer for DOH-Orange.

In Florida, one in five homes tested has elevated radon levels. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air, but which can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. Scientists have long been concerned about the health risk of radon, however, never has there been such overwhelming proof that exposure to elevated levels of radon cause lung cancer in humans.

The EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

For more information on radon, radon testing, mitigation and radon-resistant new construction, call the Florida Department of Health at 800-543-8279 or visit our website at  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/or visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month website at https://www.epa.gov/radon/national-radon-action-month-information.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month. The aim of National Radon Action Month is to increase the public’s awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant, new construction practices.

What is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock,
and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S.
It can get into any type of building—homes, offices, and schools—and result in a
high indoor radon level.

You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon.

At a radon level of 4 pCi/L, there are approximately 12,672 radioactive disintegrations in one liter of air during a single 24-hour day. What do those numbers mean? Living in a home with a level of 4 pCi/L is approximately the equivalent of smoking 8 cigarettes per day.

What Should You Do?

Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.

The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive.

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