Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2014

CONTACT
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047, marla.augustine@nebraska.gov
 
January is National Radon Action Month
 
Lincoln— During National Radon Action Month the Nebraska Radon Program is spreading the word about the risks of radon exposure, and encouraging people to test their homes. 
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring gas that originates in the soil and can build to dangerous levels in homes.  Since it is radioactive, it is very damaging to lung tissue when people breathe it in.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year are due to radon exposure. 

“People don’t realize that they are at risk of lung cancer even if they don’t smoke.  It’s important to reduce the risk as much as possible, and radon testing is a good step,” said Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and director of the Division of Public Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Radon test kits are inexpensive and in some areas free, depending on local availability.  The Nebraska Radon Program website at www.dhhs.ne.gov/radon has information on how to get a radon test kit.  Also on the website there are maps and tables that show radon averages across the state, as well as how many homes have been tested, and the percentage of homes that test high.

“The maps are not a predictor of what radon level an individual home will have,” said Sara Morgan, Indoor Air Quality Program Manager.  “Even counties with low averages have some homes with high radon levels.  Your neighbor’s radon level is not an indication of what your radon level will be, so each homeowner needs to test.”

If a radon test shows higher levels of radon than recommended, a mitigation system can be installed that will lower radon to an acceptable level.  Radon mitigation companies must have a state issued license to conduct this work.  To find a list of licensed radon mitigation companies, go to: www.dhhs.ne.gov/radon.

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