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Radon test heads off silent killer

Date Published: 01/14/2020 [Source]

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

The South Carolina Radon Program is offering a limited number of free home radon test kits that it makes available to homeowners on a first-come, first-served basis.

Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas can build up to unsafe levels in any home. That is why EPA starts every new year encouraging Americans to get their homes tested for radon. Millions of homes in the United States have elevated levels of radon.

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, and it finds its way into homes through cracks and holes in the foundation, construction joints and plumbing fixtures. Any home can have a radon problem.

"Elevated levels of radon have been found in homes in almost every county in South Carolina," said Rhonda Thompson, Bureau of Air Quality chief for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. "Two homes right next to each other can have different radon levels. The only way to know if a home has high radon levels is to test for radon."

Residents should closely follow the directions to receive accurate results. If the test kit indicates high levels of radon, the EPA recommends contacting a certified radon mitigation provider to review methods for preventing radon from entering a home.