In Idaho, 2 in 5 tested homes across the state have higher-than-recommended radon levels. January is Radon Action Month, and the Department of Health and Welfare is encouraging Idahoans to test their homes for radon, especially because more people are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Living in a home with high radon levels can be dangerous for your health. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates radon causes more than 21,000 deaths each year in the U.S. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer increases.
Radon, an invisible radioactive gas, builds up in homes over time. Radon gas forms from naturally occurring uranium in Idaho soil. The gas enters homes and buildings through gaps and cracks in crawl spaces and foundations.
“Because you can’t see, taste, or smell radon, people may not realize they have high radon levels in their homes or be aware of the health effects,” said Hannah Day, health education specialist. “With more people working from home and spending time indoors this winter, testing is the only way to know if you have a radon problem and the first step in protecting your health.”
High radon levels can be a risk in every county in Idaho. The department recommends every homeowner test their home for the dangerous gas. Home radon tests are simple and inexpensive — and can help save lives. Visit www.radonidaho.org to purchase a discounted radon test kit for $10.95; this covers all costs including shipping, handling, and test results. High radon levels can be fixed with the help of a licensed radon mitigation professional.
You can protect your family’s health during Radon Action Month by:
- Testing your home for radon.
- Encouraging friends and family to test their homes for radon.
- Fixing your home if you detect high levels of radon.
For more information about how to test your home or where to find a test kit, call the Idaho Careline at 2-1-1 or visit www.radonidaho.org.
Public Information Officer