The Champaign Health District (CHD) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families. The county Health District is promoting radon awareness during National Radon Action Month in January.
Radon levels locally are well above the national average. 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, but never before has there been such overwhelming proof that exposure to elevated levels of radon causes lung cancer in humans.
To help educate the citizens of Champaign County, the CHD has set up displays in the area. Libraries in St. Paris, Mechanicsburg and Urbana will have brochures, plus information for a free home radon test kit. This information also is available in the lobby of the county Community Center, South U.S. Route 68, Urbana, as well as in the Building Regulations Department, located in the county Community Center. The quickest and easiest way to order a test kit is to visit the Champaign Health District’s website: www.champaignhd.com
The U.S. EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country, after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
“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 killer in their homes,” said Steve Moore of the county Health District.
If testing a home shows elevated levels of radon, problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs such as painting or having a new water heater installed.
The Health District urges Champaign County residents to test their homes for radon this month.
For more information on radon, radon testing, mitigation and radon-resistant new construction, call the Health District at 937-484-1606 or visit www.champaignhd.com or visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month Website at www.epa.gov/radon/nram or the Ohio Department of Health Indoor Radon Program site at www.odh.ohio.gov.