EPA Recommends Preventing Lung Cancer – Test your Home for Radon

Agency Marks Beginning of National Radon Month

Lenexa, KS (STL.News) This week marks the beginning of National Radon Action Month. Every January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges everyone across the United States to test their homes for radon gas.  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into homes from the ground and, in some cases, well water supply.

“Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and is both colorless and odorless, so I encourage everyone to take time this January to test and prevent radon exposure in your homes,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.  “Millions of homes have been tested for radon and repaired, but millions more homes with high levels of this radioactive gas remain.”

Much of EPA Region 7 states (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska) have counties with elevated indoor radon screening levels.  EPA developed the Radon Zone Map in 1993 to identify areas of the U.S. with the potential for elevated indoor radon levels. EPA Map of Radon Zones including State Radon Information and Contacts

Each year we lose over 21,000 American lives due to radon-induced lung cancer. Testing for radon can be as simple as stopping by your local home improvement store to pick up a do-it-yourself testing kit, often found for less than $20.  Test kits can also be purchased online, or individuals can hire a qualified professional to conduct a radon test.  Contact your state or tribal radon program for advice.

To date, tens of millions of homes have been tested for radon, and nearly two million with high radon levels have been fixed through the efforts of state and local radon programs, radon service providers, non-profit health organizations, and federal agencies.  However, EPA estimates that millions of homes with high levels of radon remain. Take the simple step today to protect your loved ones: Test. Fix. Save a Life.

Radon Hero Award

During this year’s National Radon Action Month, EPA is honoring long-time employee Lou Witt, who was posthumously awarded the “Radon Hero Award” by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors for his lifelong work and commitment to preventing lung cancer risks from radon.