HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERS FREE RADON KITS DURING JANUARY
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month and is encouraging homeowners to test for this potentially radio-active gas. The city’s health department is supporting the EPA’s efforts by offering a limited number of radon testing kits free-of-charge to Middletown residents during the month.
The radon test kits and are available on a first-come, first-served basis to Middletown homeowners only and can be picked up at the Middletown Health Department in the lower level of the Municipal Building during normal business hours. Limit one kit per person, per residence. Proof of residency is required.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas which comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. When emitted into open air, radon is rendered virtually harmless. However, when it becomes trapped into an enclosed structure such as a house, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels.
Prolonged exposure to high levels of radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in this country. The EPA estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 Americans die from lung cancer each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke, and your home has an elevated radon level, your risk of lung cancer may be even higher.
One out of every 15 homes in the United States has an elevated level of radon. Your neighbor’s house may not have a radon problem, but you might. The only sure way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test for it.
Testing is relatively simple and fixing a problem is usually no more than some common house repairs. Often times, sealing any cracks or openings in your home’s basement floors and foundation walls may resolve the issue. In more extensive cases, it may mean hiring contractor to install a ventilation system. The Connecticut Department of Public Health provides a list of radon mitigation companies on their website: www.ct.gov.dph/radon.