MEDIA CONTACTIlana Lewis, (402) 314-1972, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln, Neb. – Governor Jim Pillen has officially proclaimed January Radon Action Month in Nebraska. As temperatures drop and Nebraskans spend more time indoors, it is important to consider the indoor air quality within your home. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Lung Association are encouraging residents of Nebraska to take action and test their homes for radon.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It can enter into homes through gaps and cracks in walls, floors, and foundations. Elevated radon levels can be found in any type of home, regardless of age. As radon cannot be detected by any of the senses, the only way to know the radon level in your home is to test. In Nebraska, more than 50% of homes have elevated radon levels.
Radon kills more than 21,000 people every year and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. If you smoke, exposure to both tobacco and radon further enhances your risk of lung cancer. When breathing in radon, radioactive particles can damage the tissue of the lungs. It typically takes many years for lung cancer to develop. It is important for people to take steps to reduce their radon exposure and avoid this long-term health risk.
Nebraska residents who have recently purchased a home and waived the home inspection might be unaware of their risk. Now is a great time to consider testing these newly-purchased homes for radon. The EPA recommends testing your home for radon every two years, even if you have a radon mitigation system installed or if you have previously tested your home.
Nebraska residents can have their homes tested by hiring a licensed Radon Measurement Business to perform the test or by performing a self-test in their own home using a radon test kit. Radon test kits may be available from your local health department for free or at a reduced rate. If the local health department does not provide test kits in your area, more information about purchasing test kits can be found at: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Radon-Test-Kits.aspx
There is no known safe level of radon. When interpreting radon measurement test results, it's important to know that the EPA encourages anybody with radon levels above 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) to take action and fix their homes. The most common solution for elevated radon levels in a home is installing an active radon mitigation system. DHHS encourages anybody who is looking to mitigate an elevated radon level in their home to work with a licensed Radon Mitigation Business to ensure that the work is done safely and correctly. Lists of licensed businesses can be found here: https://dhhs.ne.gov/pages/radon.aspx