Has your home been tested for Radon?

Last updated: January 15, 2014 – 12:53 PM
January is National Radon Action Month.  Everyone is encouraged to test their home for harmful levels of radon.  Radon is a natural colorless, odorless radioactive gas and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  The EPA estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year.

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils.  It comes into homes through cracks and holes in the foundation.  All homes with or without basements should be tested for radon.  You can’t see, smell or taste radon.  It could be present at dangerous levels in the home without knowing.  The best time to test homes is during the winter month when windows are shut and elevated levels of radon are more likely to be detected.

The Chicago Department of Public Health recommends taking action to fix radon levels at or above 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L).  Addressing high radon levels sometimes costs the the same as other minor home repairs.  In most cases, a system with a vent pipe and fan is used to reduce radon.  For info on how to test, find a qualified radon professional or obtain a test kit at  http://www.epa.gov/radon or call the Cook County Radon Hot Line at 708-865-6177.  Also check out the EPA’s Radon Guide for Tenants.  Property owners are responsible for making repairs when radon is found in the home.  If you have further questions you may contact MTO’s Healthy Homes Program at 773-292-4980 ext 231.

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