During January, Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is recognizing National Radon Action Month by encouraging residents to take action to protect their homes and families. Unsafe levels of radon can lead to serious illness. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind smoking. By making simple fixes in a home or building, people can lower their health risks from radon.
“Many people don’t realize the dangers posed by radon exposure or how simple it is to test a home for this harmful gas,” said Bob Hoyt, DEP Director. “I hope everyone who hears about the problems caused by radon exposure shares the information with family, friends and neighbors so they will take action to stay safe and healthy.”
January is an especially good time to test homes and schools because windows and doors are closed tightly and people spend more time indoors. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas. It is released from soils and disperses outdoors, but can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings.
“Because you can’t see or smell radon, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent danger in their homes,” said Stan Edwards, chief of the Division of Environmental Policy & Compliance. “Testing buildings for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive, and I urge everyone to evaluate their home.”
Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores or directly from radon testing companies. Many are priced under $25. Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors, with repairs typically costing between $800 and $2,500.
For more information on radon, testing, mitigation and radon-resistant new construction, call 311 or visit the County’s website.
Additional information is also available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa.gov/radon.
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Media Contact: Esther Bowring, 240-777-6507
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Program Contact: Stan Edwards, 240-777-7748