Environmental Protection

January is Radon Action Month

Since January is National Radon Action Month, the DEP in Pennsylvania will be presenting an episode on the dangers of radon in their webinar series, DEP at Home, on Jan. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m.

Radon is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung-cancer deaths in the United States every year, and about 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the EPA’s action level of four picocuries per liter. While radon problems may be more common in some regions, the potential exists for any home to have high radon levels.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and affects almost half of all Pennsylvania homes,” said Mike Krancer, DEP Secretary. “Everyone needs to test their homes for radon. The good news is that a radon problem is easily and inexpensively fixed. The webinar will teach people more about this health risk and how they can protect their families.”

The DEP at Home webinar will consist of a presentation and a live Q&A session with Robert Lewis and Matthew Shields of DEP’s Bureau of Radiation Protection and Kevin Stewart of the American Lung Association.

Pennsylvania is prone to elevated radon levels, and the only way to know if there is a radon problem is to test the home. DEP recommends testing all homes and public and private buildings. The best time to test is during the cold-weather months, when homes and buildings are closed and radon is most likely to build up to unhealthy levels.

Residents may hire a certified radon testing company, though it is easy to perform a radon test by using a kit that can be purchased at a home improvement store or a Pennsylvania-certified radon laboratory. If results reveal radon levels above the action level, a radon mitigation system may be necessary. Radon mitigation systems typically cost between $700 and $1,200 and require minimal maintenance.

For more information about radon, or to participate in the webinar, please visit www.dep.state.pa.us.

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