County is giving away radon test kits

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Almost 40 percent of Idaho homes tested for radon have higher than recommended levels, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.The naturally occurring radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, following smoking. These easy-to-use home test kits are available at via www.uchd.net/radon.

A colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs from the natural breakdown of the soil is affecting 50% of properties in Colorado.

Radon exposure does not cause any symptoms immediately, yet extended exposure to elevated radon levels increases one's risk of lung cancer.

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Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year are attributable to radon.

If you haven't tested your home for radon recently, now's a good time. Rocks and soil can contain uranium. Radon test kits can also be purchased at local hardware stores.

Radon levels vary throughout CT. The EPA and the US surgeon general urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon.

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"Winter is simply a better time to test for radon because your house is more closed up than it is in the summer", Ridella said. Radon kits can be found at Home Depot, Wal-mart, Mr.D's, Bomgaar's and Mead Lumber in Sterling. However, radon exposure at any level poses some health risk, and homeowners may want to consider reducing radon levels if they are greater than 2 pCi/L. The risky gas sneaks its way into your home by moving into the air from the ground and then through the cracks and holes in your foundation. "You can not see or smell radon". Radon is also found in building materials and in well water.

Steve Demick, county environmental health director, in a news release encouraged people to take advantage of the chance to test their homes for radon gas. The maximum reading for Greene County was 590 pCi/L, the minimum Greene County reading was 0.1 pCi/L, with an average reading of 7.14 pCi/L.

For information about presentations as well as locations, call the Extension Office at 382-6461 or San Juan Basin Public Health at 335-2030.

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