Statement issued Monday:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Oct. 17, 2011) – During National Radon Action Week, residents are urged to test their homes for the second leading cause of lung cancer: radon gas.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas found throughout the environment that enters homes through cracks in the floor or spaces around utility pipes and can reach harmful levels when trapped inside buildings. Long-term exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers.
“The presence of radon in your home can pose a danger to your family’s health because it is a natural radioactive gas that you can’t see or smell,” says Dave Fiess, Director of Vector Control and Environmental Services. “All homes should be tested for radon and National Radon Week is the perfect time to find out if your family is at risk.”
The United States government announced earlier this year an “action plan” to reduce the lung cancer risk to the American public through new requirements for radon testing and mitigation. Multiple agencies of the federal government will be involved in enforcing these new requirements, which include testing for radon gas during real estate transactions.
According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, homes in Allen County have a “high potential” for elevated radon levels. But all homes should be tested for radon regardless of the age of the home, geographic location, or type of construction.
The Department of Health is offering free test kits while supplies last. Test kits can be picked up Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the health department’s main office on the 3rd floor of the Citizens Square Building, 200 E. Berry St., or 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Vector Control and Environmental Services, 2242 Carroll Road. Please call (260) 449-7459 to ensure kits are available.
Test kits can also be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores or directly from radon testing companies. If a high level of radon is found, the radon can be reduced with a proper mitigation system installed by a qualified professional.
Residents of Indiana and some other states are also eligible for special discounts on radon reduction systems during radon awareness week by calling the Air Quality Control Agency at 1-800-667-2366.