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Radon Tests are Encouraged and Free Kits are Available

Author: Administrator Account/Tuesday, January 15, 2019/Categories: General, Health

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According to a state study, ten percent (10%) of the basements in homes in Niagara County have reported radon levels above the radioactive measurement of four Picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is the short-term safety standard.  Fifteen percent (15%) of homes tested in the City of Lockport are estimated to have exceeded that standard.  Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. “Homeowners are encouraged to explore radon reduction options to lower their radon levels below the 4 pCi/L standard in the home,” stated Public Health Director, Daniel J. Stapleton. “Being aware of your home level and taking action to reduce it, will help to protect you and your family’s health,” he emphasized. Venting radon gas through pipes into the air where it quick dissipates is a main method to reduce radon levels. For more information, or to find a certified radon mitigation professional visit:    

 https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/radon.htm

"Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas," said Theresa McCabe, Public Health Educator at the Niagara County Department of Health. “It's not detectable by smell, taste, or sight, only by a test,” she added. “Winter is the best time of year to test a home for radon.  Radon gas can enter a structure through the cracks and crevices, the joints, or the sump pumps in a basement. Concentrations of the gas can build up and reach dangerous levels that could negatively affect health." McCabe further explained.

The Niagara County Department of Health’s Healthy Neighborhood Program is currently canvassing the City of Lockport.  Program staff can visit your home and give you a radon test kit at no charge.  Call (716) 439-7479 to set up an appointment.  “Healthy Neighborhood Program staff will ask you a series of health and safety questions about the home, and one of the things we talk about is radon gas. In return for doing this survey, we can give you various free health and safety products, including a radon test kit," McCabe said.

Healthy Neighborhoods Program Public Health Technician will place the test canister and pick it up a few days later and mailed in for evaluation.  There is no charge for this service.  Based on test results, staff will assist the homeowner to determine if any actions are necessary to protect your family.

Anyone outside the Healthy Neighborhood target area can still obtain a radon test kit for $11.00 from the NYS Department of Health.  An order form with instructions can be found at: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/testkit.htm

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