Last updated: January 13. 2014 11:14AM - 540 Views
Submitted by Lynne Knight Macon County Extension Office

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Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas-You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is estimated to cause 21,000 American deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking in the United States.

Radon can be found all over the U.S.-Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building-homes, offices, and schools. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

You should test for radon-Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes with or without basements. Testing is inexpensive and easy-it should only take a few minutes of your time.

You can fix a radon problem-Radon reduction systems work and they are not too costly. EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels at or above 4 picocuries per Liter (pCi/L) and contacting a qualified radon-reduction contractor.

Keep you and your family safe-Taking action to test and fix high levels of radon gas is not only a strong investment for your health, but also for you home. By fixing elevated levels in your home, you can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home for you and your family.

For more information about radon or to purchase a short-term radon kit for $8.00, contact Lynne Knight, Family and Consumer Sciences agent at the Macon County Extension office, 666-3341 or e-mail: lknight3@utk.edu.

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