XENIA — During National Radon Action Month, Greene County Public Health officials are urging Ohio residents to test their homes for radon.
Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County’s Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and the Union County Health Department, is offering free and reduced-cost radon test kits for Miami Valley homeowners to check their homes for elevated radon levels.
According to GCPH, radon is a colorless, odorless soil gas that can build up in homes and may increase the risk of lung cancer for occupants. The Ohio Department of Health estimates about half of Ohio families live in homes with elevated radon levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and it can seep into homes.
Homeowners may request a kit by visiting www.doctorhomeair.com/ohio. Households with an income below $80,500 are eligible to receive one free test kit, and households with an income above $80,500 may purchase kits at a reduced cost of $8.45 per kit.
“Winter is the best time to get a test kit,” said Jeff Webb, Environmental Health Director at GCPH. “During these colder months, our homes are closed up, trapping gases inside and providing more accurate radon readings.”
“Greene County has been designated as a zone one area on the EPA’s radon map,” Webb said. “This means the EPA predicts that homes within our area could have high radon levels. Therefore it is important all homeowners in our area test for radon gas.”
Radon test kits are easy to use. Homeowners can place the small, non-obtrusive test kit in the lowest living level of the home for three to seven days. Then, they can seal the kit and mail it to the certified laboratory for analysis. Confidential results are available online a few days later or can be mailed to the homeowner within approximately two weeks.
Testing is the only way to know if elevated levels exist in a home, so the ODH recommends all homes be tested, regardless of age, location, or construction type. Elevated indoor radon levels can be corrected with the installation of a ventilation system to direct the gas outdoors.
More radon information is available by visiting www.rapca.org/programs/radon.