This month is National Radon Action Month, and the Champaign County Health District and more than 30 other county health districts have been encouraging residents to heed the dangers of radon in their homes and to obtain free kits to test radon levels.
“Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and has been found in many Ohio homes,” said Zach Watson, communications specialist for the Union County Health Department. “It is important the public health agencies of this state tackle the issue together with a unified message.
“According to the (Environmental Protection Agency), central Ohio is at risk for high levels of radon in the soil,” Watson said. “Because of that, we wanted to show that this is something that may likely be in your home, and it can do some serious damage to your health.”
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in nearly all soils. Radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted.
This makes testing the only way to determine if the deadly gas is in a home. Radon leaks into homes through cracks in the foundation, openings around sump pumps and drains, construction joints and cracks in walls.
If a high level of radon is found in a home, the next step is to remove it by putting in a radon mitigation system, which can cost between $800 and $2,500, with an average cost of $1,200, according to the EPA.
Forms to fill out to obtain free radon testing kits are available online and at local sites.
Visit drhomeair.com/oh to fill out a form and submit online.
Forms also are available at the Champaign County Health District offices in the county Community Center, South U.S. Route 68 in Urbana; the Champaign County Library; and at the St. Paris and Mechanicsburg public libraries. As of Feb. 1, these paper forms only will be available at the county Health District.
For more information, contact the Champaign County Health District, 937-484-1605, or the Ohio Department of Health, 800-523-4439.