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Kansas warns homeowners of 'silent killer' during national radon action month

Date Published: 01/10/2020 [Source]

January is national radon action month.

Radon is a naturally-occurring colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas created by the decay of uranium in the earth's crust. It's everywhere on the planet and can work its way into homes through cracks and crevices.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, long-term exposure to elevated levels of radon increases a person's risk for lung cancer, and it is the second overall cause of lung cancer deaths behind tobacco smoking in the United States.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment estimated as many as 200 new cases of radon-related lung cancer occur each year in Kansas.

"January is a great time to test your home for radon because your home is buttoned up because of the weather," Johnson County Extension Office Agent Denise Dias said.

"We're really trying to make a push, especially knowing that our levels in our county are higher than recommended," Dias said.

While no level of radon is considered safe, the EPA said any buildings that test higher than 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) need to be corrected.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the observed state-wide average indoor radon level in Kansas is 4.9 pCi/L and 41 percent of measurements have been reported at or above 4.0 pCi/L.

The department said radon mitigation systems have been installed to lower radon levels in more than 17,000 Kansas homes.

Overland Park homeowner and mother of two Grace Tan called in Clear Conscience Radon when she discovered her home at a radon level of 4.3 pCi/L.

"I think it's most important for the peace of mind and for the benefit of long-term health," Tan said.