Volume 51, Number 16

sixteen pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, April 17, 2014

January proclaimed as “Radon Action Month”

Governor Phil Bredesen has
proclaimed January “Radon Action
Month” to help educate
Tennesseans about the dangers
of radon exposure and encourage
actions to identify and to
address radon problems in the
home.
In conjunction with the Governor’s
announcement, the Department
of Environment and
Conservation has joined forces
with the American Lung Association,
the Environmental Protection
Agency and various local
and county health departments
with an outreach program to
raise awareness about this
health risk and the importance
of testing.
“Tennesseans can check for
the presence of radon in the
home with a simple test,” said
Bredesen. “I encourage each
household to take this important
step to safeguard the
health of loved ones from the
dangers of exposure to radon."
Radon is a naturally occurring
gas that can seep into
homes through cracks and
openings in their foundations.
It cannot be seen, tasted or
smelled, but in concentrated
levels, radon can pose a threat
to human health.
The EPA estimates that approximately
70 percent of Tennessee’s
population lives in high
risk or moderate risk radon
areas. According to the EPA,
radon is the number one cause
of lung cancer among nonsmokers
and is the second leading
cause of lung cancer in the
United States.
The best time to test is during
consistently cold weather,
usually from October to March.
This is the time of year when
doors and windows are shut, so
test results are more representative
of in-home exposure.
Radon problems can be fixed by
qualified contractors for a cost
comparable to that of many
common household repairs,
such as painting or installing a
new water heater.
In Tennessee, radon test kits
can be purchased at most local
hardware and home improvement
stores, through the American
Lung Association or by
calling the Tennessee Radon
Hotline at 1-800-232-1139.
Limited quantities of free
test kits are available. In addition,
Tennesseans can have access
to a free radon test kit
within their county by visiting
their local county Ground
Water Protection office.
“Testing is such an important
step because radon acts
unpredictably,” said Amy Inabinet
of the Tennessee Radon
Program. “Nationally, about 6
percent of homes surveyed had
elevated levels of radon. In contrast,
16 percent of Tennessee
homes surveyed had elevated
levels and in some counties, 33
to 75 percent of homes being
tested have elevated levels of
radon.”
Radon is measured in picocuries
per liter of air (pCi/L),
and the EPA and Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention
recommend homes with radon
levels at 4 pCi/L or higher
should be fixed. EPA also recommends
that Americans consider
fixing their homes for
radon levels between 2 pCi/L
and 4 pCi/L.
For more information, visit
Environment and Conservation’s
Web site at www.tn.
gov/environment/ea/radon or
contact the department’s Radon
Program at 1-800-232-1139 or
TDEC.Radon@state.tn.us.

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