January Is Radon Awareness Month

— Written By Donna Tulley and last updated by

As the turning of the seasons brings colder weather to North Carolina and families close windows to keep warm, it is an excellent time to make plans for radon testing in your home. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The effects upon the families it touches can be just as devastating as lung cancer caused by smoking tobacco. Far western counties have some of the highest reported radon levels in the state of North Carolina.

January is National Radon Action Month. Each year upwards to 22,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer. Roughly 54% of those diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer are expected to live no more than five years after diagnosis.

Approximately 7,000 kits are being distributed statewide. Only one kit per home is needed to determine if your home has a high level. The North Carolina Radon Program website: www.ncradon.org, will have a list of all 83 participating organizations across North Carolina.

The NC Radon Program Website will also have a limited supply of kits available. Once the supply of free kits have been exhausted, the NC Radon Program Website will return to providing short term radon test kits, during January, at a reduced cost of $5.34; a kit retails at $15.

The North Carolina Radon Program of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services educates families and homeowners about radon gas, how to test for radon gas and how to lower the radon levels within a home. Lowering the radon levels in a home lowers the risk of lung cancer.

The North Carolina Radon Program Website also contains a new mobile application meant to particularly help real estate brokers working in North Carolina. The mobile application will assist the user in determining how many tests have been conducted within a zip code as well as the highest radon levels recorded in that zip code. The user of the app will also be able to locate a certified professional to assist them in resting or fixing the radon issue in their home.

The cost of lowering radon levels in a home averages about $1500. The North Carolina Radon Protection Section sought help for families that might struggle to meet that expense.

The Self Help Credit Union stepped up and created a loan program specifically for radon mitigation. North Carolina homeowners who meet poverty criteria may be eligible for forgivable  loans from local programs. A link to more information is available on the NC Radon Program Webpage.

Lung cancer can strike anyone, even a nonsmoker. Test your home for radon and lower your family’s risk of lung cancer. For more information visit: www.ncradon.org.