(WFLA) — You and your family could be exposed to dangerous radiation from “radon” in your home and not even know it.
Radon is the primary cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Radon in indoor air causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. In Florida, one in five homes tested for radon has elevated levels.
The FDOH is raising awareness about the importance of identifying elevated indoor radon levels in all homes and buildings. Radon can be detected with a simple test and high levels can be fixed using proven techniques.
January is National Radon Action Month and is designed to educate all Americans about the risks from elevated indoor radon levels.
Radon is a naturally-occurring, odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive gas and is formed by the natural decay of uranium in rock, soil, water and construction materials. While outdoor levels produce little risk, higher concentrations found indoors can cause health problems.
“Exposure to elevated indoor radon levels is an invisible yet real threat to your health,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong.
“Floridians can protect their families by testing their homes for elevated levels of radon and taking action to reduce high levels when they occur.”
To help prevent dangerous radon exposure, the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggest:
- All homeowners test their homes for radon by either purchasing a do-it-yourself test kit from a hardware or home improvement store or by hiring a DOH-certified radon measurement business;
- Homeowners should fix radon problems immediately to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure to their family; and
- New homes should include radon-resistant features, which are especially important in areas reporting elevated radon levels.
- For more information about radon, its health effects and testing procedures, please visit the department’s Radon Program website or contact the Florida Department of Health Radon Hotline at 1-800-543-8279.