January is National Radon Action Month

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced a radon awareness campaign this week with the catchy slogan "Test Your Nest." Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the soil and rocks as they decay. Radon is very common in the West, especially in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Montana.

Courtesy EPA
Courtesy EPA
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Nearly half of all Montana homes have high levels of radon.

Let that statistic sink in for a moment. Almost 50% of all homes in Montana exceed acceptable limits of radon gas. Wow! Testing your home is vital. The EPA wrote,

... [it is] especially important to our region’s residents as large portions of these states are at-risk for high indoor radon levels that can cause lung cancer. The best way to protect against radon is to perform a simple, low-cost test of your home.

Tests can be found online or at most home improvement stores and come in short-term and long-term testing forms. Kansas State University provides low-cost test kits as part of its National Radon Program Services. They are priced at just $17 and $27 respectively and you can find them HERE.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Photo by CDC on Unsplash
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Randon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Radon is a known carcinogen and its presence in homes leads to an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. The CDC explained how radon can impact your health,

When you breathe in radon gas, radioactive particles can get trapped in your lungs. Over time, these radioactive particles increase the risk of lung cancer. It may take years before health problems appear.

Don't mess around with radon. "Test your nest", and if radon is found in your home take the necessary steps to remediate the problem. Learn more and see what to look for when hiring a contractor with the Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction (pdf).

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