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Protect your family; Check for radon

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jan 28, 2020 at 5:15 PM

NORWALK — In recognition of National Radon Action Month, Huron County Public Health (HCPH) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) are encouraging Ohioans to test their homes for the radioactive gas and take steps to reduce risk if elevated levels are detected.

What is Radon? Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced naturally with the decay of uranium in rocks and soil which can migrate into any type of home through cracks or openings in the foundation. According to data collected by the ODH Radon Education and Licensing Program, elevated levels of the gas have been found in homes in all 88 Ohio counties. It’s estimated that such levels are present in about half of all Ohio homes.

What are the dangers of Radon? Long-term exposure to high levels of radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall and the top cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the U.S. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates out of the many different types of cancer, however many of the causes can be prevented.

Should I test my home? The EPA has ranked Huron County as a zone 1 county, meaning that it has the highest potential for elevated levels of indoor radon. To ensure that you and your family’s home has a safe air quality, you need to test for radon. It is recommended that everyone tests their home every two years or after renovations, including the installation of windows, exterior doors, insulation, a roof, or a furnace or air conditioner.

How do I get a radon test kit? ODH offers free testing kits to Ohio homeowners with household incomes less than $80,500. Others can order the kits for a discounted rate of $10.95, which includes analysis. You could also have your home evaluated by a radon tester licensed by ODH to follow specific protocols.

For general questions about radon's health effects or to discuss radon testing, contact ODH radon education staff at 1-800-523-4439 or indoor.radon@odh.ohio.gov.