Home Radon Testing Urged To Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture
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You can't see, smell or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home and is a leading cause of lung cancer deaths. What is this invisible substance? Radon. Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) will provide free home radon test kits (one kit per customer) during January and prevention information about radon in observance of National Radon Action Month (NRAM).

Radon test kits for homes are available at Health Division offices in Pontiac (1200 N. Telegraph), Southfield (27725 Greenfield Rd.) and Walled Lake (1010 E. West Maple Rd.).

The kits will be free during NRAM and are available for $10.00 at Health Division offices during the remainder of the year. These radon test kits meet EPA guidelines.

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Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas that is usually harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air. However, when the gas is trapped in buildings it can be harmful to human health and has been found to cause lung cancer in humans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified a moderate potential for elevated radon levels in Oakland County homes.

"Because you can't see or smell radon, people tend to minimize the health effects and ignore the possibility that it might exist in elevated levels in their homes," stated Kathy Forzley, Administrator, Oakland County Health Division's Environmental Health Services.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall after smoking, according to EPA estimates. It is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.

Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk. If a high radon level is detected in a home, steps can be taken to fix the problem before it becomes a more serious health threat.

"The Health Division urges Oakland County residents to protect themselves by testing their homes for radon during National Radon Action Month and by taking measures to reduce radon levels in their homes," continued Forzley.

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