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TMT 2019 Winter Newsletter

RADON IN YOUR HOME

One in seven Vermont homes has elevated levels of radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no color, smell or taste. Radon comes from the decay of uranium, which is a radioactive element found naturally in the Earth’s crust. Over billions of years, uranium decays into radium, and eventually, radon. Radon is present in outdoor air, and radon levels can build up inside people’s homes. Unless you test for it, there is no way of knowing if radon is present in your home.

 

HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADON

Everyone is exposed to some radon in indoor and outdoor air. Breathing air with radon increases a person’s risk of getting lung cancer. A person’s lung cancer risk due to radon depends on the level of radon in the air they breathe, how long they are exposed, and whether or not they are a smoker. Radon decays into radioactive particles that damage lung tissue and can lead to lung cancer over the course of a person’s lifetime.

 

TESTING YOUR INDOOR AIR FOR RADON—REQUEST A FREE KIT

The use of a long-term radon in air test kit is best because radon levels can change daily, weekly and seasonally. We recommend that you test your home for 3 to 12 months (ideally including a heating season). Longer test periods ensure the most accurate measure of actual exposure. Free long-term radon in air test kits are available to Vermont residents.

 

You can request one from the Radon Program by:

Calling 800-439-8550 (toll-free in Vermont) or Emailing radon@vermont.gov

www.healthvermont.gov/radon

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