Press release submitted by RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall
The Environmental Health Division of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that January has been proclaimed National Radon Action Month in Illinois, by calling attention to the fact that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer overall and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.
Dorothy David, Health Department Director of Environmental Health Services, notes, "It really doesn't matter where you live in Illinois or what type of home you live in, because we've seen excessive radon in every county in Illinois, and in every type of home - old, new, with basements, with a crawlspace or on a slab."
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. It can enter homes and buildings through small cracks in the foundation, sump pumps or soil in crawlspaces.
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer.
The State of Illinois has enacted the Illinois Radon Awareness Act. According to this law, anyone buying a home, condominium or other residential property in Illinois must be provided with information about indoor radon exposure and the fact that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause overall.
Since radon gas is undetectable, specialized radon detectors must be used to measure the amount of radon gas present in the air. You can purchase test kits from your local home improvement, hardware store, or home extension office. You may also call the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Division of Nuclear Safety Radon Program at 1-800-325-1245 for a list of laboratories that sell radon kits or visit their website at www.radon.illinois.gov.
The Health Department and state officials encourage anyone who discovers their home has elevated levels of radon to contact a licensed radon mitigation professional to correct the problem. Depending on the home, radon mitigation can cost between $800-$1200. IEMA also has a list of licensed radon reduction contractors who can fix your radon problem.
For more information on radon you can visit the our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments. Radon information is also available through IEMA at their hotline number and at their website.