Governor Laura Kelly has declared January Radon Action Month in Kansas. Through a partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Kansas citizens are urged to protect their families by testing their homes, schools and workplaces for radon to minimize the risks to radon. long-term health.
“Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the first in people who have never smoked,” said Jason Meinholdt, director of the radiation control program. “The only way to know if you have elevated radon levels in your home is to test. Test. Fix. Save a life.”
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can emanate from the soil and become a health hazard if concentrated within a home, school, business or other facility. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor radon is estimated to contribute to 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. Exposure causes no immediate symptoms and is often not recognized until serious health complications occur.
More than one in four homes in all of Kansas have high levels of radon. DeSoto, Eudora, Gardner Junction City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Olathe, Salina, and Topeka have building codes that require new homes to be built using radon-resistant techniques. Additionally, multiple Kansas counties such as Shawnee County and Douglas County have adopted this change to their building codes.
Inexpensive radon test kits, available at local hardware and builder’s supply stores and at the Kansas County Extension Office, can reveal the amount of radon in any building. The only way to know if radon has entered your home or building is to test it. Those with high levels can usually be fixed with simple and inexpensive ventilation techniques. Homeowners should speak to a certified radon contractor if elevated levels are found.
A list of certified radon contractors is available by calling the Kansas Radon Hotline at 800-693-5343. More information about radon can be obtained at www.kansasradonprogram.org and at www.epa.gov/radon.