Indiana health officials urge residents to test for radon
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It is colorless, scentless and tasteless, but health officials say it could be present at a dangerous level in your home.
The Indiana State Department of Health said January is Radon Action Month. It is encouraging residents to test their homes for this radioactive gas that occurs naturally in most soil. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer among smokers and the leading cause among non-smokers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates it is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States Each Year. Indiana’s State Health Commissioner says by testing, people can determine if a high radon level is present in their home and take action to make sure their family is breathing safe, healthy air.
The EPA and U.S. Surgeon General say there is no safe level for radon. They recommend fixing homes that have levels at or above 4pCi/L (picocuries per liter). The EPA said more than two-thirds of Indiana counties have predicted average indoor radon levels of 4pCi/L. You can find a map of those counties here.
Indiana residents can purchase a short-term test kit for as little as $15 from the American Lung Association through its website. Test kits also can be purchased at most home improvement and hardware stores and through some online retailers. If high levels of radon are detected, the department said licensed contractors can install mitigation systems to eliminate the problem and protect occupants of the home.