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Reduce Lung Cancer Risk in 2013 by Testing Your Home for Radon Gas / Elevated radon levels found in roughly 1 in 15 homes nationwide

Release Date: 01/14/2013
Contact Information: Molly Hooven, Hooven.Molly@epa.gov, 202-564-2313, 202-564-4355. En español: Lina Younes, younes.lina@epa.gov, 202-564-9924, 202-464-4355

WASHINGTON – As part of National Radon Action Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today steps the public can take to test, fix and save a life from dangerous radon gas.

“Testing for radon is one of the easiest and smartest things people can do to protect their homes and families from this serious health risk,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. “Addressing high radon levels greatly reduces exposure to the second leading cause of lung cancer.”

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.

Elevated levels of this health hazard in homes, schools, workplaces, and other buildings can be prevented through these simple steps:

  • Test: All buildings with or without basements should be tested for radon. Affordable Do-It-Yourself radon test kits are available online and at home improvement and hardware stores, or a qualified radon tester can be hired.
  • Fix: EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels at or above 4 picoCuries per Liter (pCi/L) and contacting a qualified radon-reduction contractor.
  • Save a Life: 21,000 Americans die from radon related lung cancer each year, but by addressing elevated levels, you can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home and community.

EPA continues to work with Federal, State and local partners on the Federal Radon Action Plan to educate the public about the dangers of radon exposure.

More on how to test, find a qualified radon professional, obtain a test kit or contact your state radon office:
http://www.epa.gov/radon or call 1-800-SOS-RADON

More information on the Federal Radon Action Plan:
http://www.epa.gov/radon/action_plan.html

Radon Public Service Announcements (PSAs):
http://www.epa.gov/radon/media_campaigns.html