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 Champaign Health District is promoting radon awareness during National Radon Action Month in January.
Radon levels in Champaign County are well above the national average. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas 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. All types of cancer combined, including radon-induced lung cancer, are the leading cause of death in Champaign County, according to the health district. Cancer has recently overtaken cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in Champaign County.
To help educate the citizens of Champaign County, CHD has set up displays in the area. Libraries in St. Paris, Mechanicsburg and Urbana, as well as the Building Regulations Department and the county Community Center lobby, will have brochures, plus information for a free home radon test kit. The quickest and easiest way to order a test kit is to go to the Champaign Health District’s website: champaignhd.com/radon
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year nationwide across 3,142 counties for an average of 6.3 radon-induced lung cancer deaths per county. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after tobacco smoking, and radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. “However, 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 Champaign Health District.
Testing homes for elevated levels of radon
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.
Champaign Health District urges Champaign County residents to take action during this year’s National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon. Radon poses a serious threat to the community’s health, but there is a straightforward solution. For more information on radon, radon testing, mitigation, and radon-resistant new construction, call Champaign Health District at 937-484-1606 or visit www.champaignhd.com. If you have difficulty in ordering your test kit, call the CHD office for assistance.
Information from Champaign Health District. Some data added by Urbana Daily Citizen staff.