Health department gives free radon kits in three counties
People living in Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties can get a free kit to test their homes for radon, according to a press release from the Central District Health Department.
The Central District Health Department received grant funding from Nebraska Health and Human Services to begin a radon awareness drive as part of the EPA identifying January as National Radon Action Month.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and has been identified as a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoking, in the United States. The EPA’s most recent health risk assessment estimates that 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are due to radon. Radon is a colorless odorless gas, you can’t see, smell, or taste. The only way to know whether radon exists at elevated levels (at or above 4 pCi/L – Pico curies per liter) in your home, and to protect your family, is to test for it.
Children may be at an increased risk for health complications because their lungs are not fully developed and the sensitive tissues in their lungs are more vulnerable. Smokers, if exposed to radon, face a lung cancer risk 15 times greater than that of non-smokers.
Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and then into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it may build-up. Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
All tests include postage paid envelopes and free lab analysis. Short-term detectors, which are used for 3-7 days provide quick screening measurements, and indicate potential radon problems. Additionally, long-term detectors can be left in place for fourteen days to one year. The kits provide the advantage of seasonal change which may impact radon levels. Both detectors are usually placed in main living areas on the lowest level of the home.
Kits can be picked up free of charge at the Central District Health Department at 1137 S Locust Street in Grand Island. Call 308-385-5175 for more information.