Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 30, 2008

Contact
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or
marla.augustine@nebraska.gov

Sound bites on this topic are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

 

DHHS Offers Low-Cost Radon Test Kits

January is Radon Action Month

Lincoln—To make it easier for Nebraskans to test their homes for radon, the Radon Program of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is offering low-cost radon test kits.

Governor Dave Heineman has proclaimed January to be Radon Action Month. January is an opportune time for Nebraskans to test for radon in their homes, according to Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer. During winter, homes are closed up and can trap the toxic gas, causing it to build to dangerous levels.

Although radon can seep through concrete, homes with cracks or openings in the foundation such as sump pits or crawl spaces may be at higher risk.

“High radon levels are very common in Nebraska,” Dr. Schaefer said. “Homeowners should consider testing their homes.”

Fifty-six percent of tests conducted of homes in the state have exceeded the health standard set by the EPA.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States are radon-related, second only to tobacco-related lung cancer deaths.

“The bottom line is, it’s easy to identify the level of radon in your home and to reduce your exposure to it,” Dr. Schaefer said. “To encourage testing, we are offering $5 test kits to Nebraskans.”

The EPA recommends that houses with radon levels that exceed the health standard be fixed to reduce risk of developing lung cancer. Most homes can be successfully treated using a standard radon mitigation system. A list of trained professionals is available at the Nebraska Radon Program website: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/radon_index.aspx.

For more information, call the Nebraska Radon Hotline at 1-800-334-9491. To order a radon test kit, send a check or money order with name and shipping address to: Nebraska Radon Program, P.O. Box 95026, 301 Centennial Mall S., Lincoln, NE 68509.

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