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Radon Test Kits Are Available

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Wednesday, January 31, 2018/Categories: Health

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Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. According to a state study, homes in Niagara County have reported radon levels above the radioactive measurement of four picocuries per liter. More specifically, nine percent of homes tested in the City of Lockport are estimated to have exceeded that short-term safety standard. Aligned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Surgeon General recommendations, the Public Health Director for Niagara County is encouraging City of Lockport residents to contact the Healthy Neighborhoods Program staff for a home visit. “The Niagara County Department of Health’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program is reducing the risk of radon exposure by providing free home visits, information and testing resources to the City of Lockport community,” stated Public Health Director, Daniel J. Stapleton. 

"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. It's not uncommon to find naturally occurring radon gas in the soil under your home.  Problems can arise if the gas enters your home through the basement. Radon gas can enter a structure through cracks and crevices, joints, as well as sump pumps in a basement. Concentrations of the gas can build up and reach dangerous levels." McCabe explained.

The Niagara County Department of Health’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program is currently canvasing the City of Lockport, and program staff are available to visit your home and provide you a radon test kit at no charge. To set up a home visit, call (716) 439-7479. “As part of the visit, Healthy Neighborhoods 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. For the home radon test, a Public Health Technician will place a test canister in the home and pick it up a few days later to be mailed in for evaluation.  Based on test results, staff will assist the homeowner to determine if any actions are necessary.

Radon test kits are available free of charge to individuals living within the City of Lockport. The City of Lockport is the targeted area designated by the NYS-funded Healthy Neighborhoods Grant.  Anyone outside the City of Lockport can obtain a radon test kit for $11.00 from the NYS Department of Health.  An order form can be found at: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/testkit.htm

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