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Simple Radon Test Can Protect Your Health; New Yorkers Urged to Test for Radon

Release Date: 01/17/2013
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) As part of National Radon Action Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced steps New Yorkers can take to test and address radon gas. Radon occurs naturally from the decay of uranium in the soil and can accumulate to dangerous levels inside the home. Elevated levels of the colorless, odorless gas are the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. In New York, radon is a problem statewide, in particular, in the Marcellus Shale areas. The EPA is urging people in New York to protect their health by testing their homes.

      “Testing for radon is the best way to know if people in your home are at risk from this cancer-causing gas,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "Radon is a problem that can be easily fixed, and I urge all New Yorkers to test their homes. If your home is impacted by radon, it is fairly easy to solve."

      Although testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, only one in five homeowners have actually tested their homes for radon, yet each year over 20,000 people die from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon.

      Nearly 80 percent of American homes have not been tested for radon, perhaps because radon can't be seen, smelled or tasted. Radon can build to unhealthy levels, especially during colder months when windows and doors are kept closed. The invisible radioactive gas can seep into homes from underground and can reach harmful levels if trapped indoors.

      New York residents can obtain a radon test kit for $8.50 from the New York State Department of Health by calling the state’s Radon Program toll-free at 1-800-458-1158 or by visiting the web site at http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/radon.htm. Kits may also be purchased at local hardware stores.

      For more information about Radon, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/radon/.

      Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2

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