January is Radon Action Month

January is National Radon Action Month. This is a great time for Nebraskans to test their homes.  Radon is a cancer-causing gas that you can’t see, smell, or taste, but may be a problem in your home.  It is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in America.  If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of having cancer is much higher.  During winter, homes are closed up and can trap the deadly gas.  If any radon is in your home, there is a danger to your family’s health.  Radon is a health risk that can be fixed.

Radon gas comes from the breakdown of uranium that comes up out of the ground. Some amount of uranium is found in most soil.  The Four Corners District (Butler, Polk, Seward, and York Counties) has had many high-level readings in all four counties.  Radon can enter your home through ways such as cracks or holes in your walls, floor, or foundation; space around pipes, and drinking water from private wells. Once trapped inside your home, radon can build up to a harmful level.

Testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels. A short-term test kit is one method of testing. This is a do-it-yourself kit that is easy to use. It is best to test when windows and doors are normally closed (such as in the winter when your heat is running, or in the summer when the air conditioning is running).

Four Corners Health Department has radon test kits available, to homeowners in the Four Corners District. These short-term tests take three to seven days to complete. It will then be sent to a lab. The results will be sent back after a week or two. You and Four Corners will both receive a copy. Four Corners will contact you only if your test kit shows a high rating. Statistics may be shared by zip code, but your address will never be shared. The test kits can be picked up year-round at the Four Corners Health Department in York, Seward Extension Office in Seward, Polk County Health Department in Stromsburg, and Butler County Health Care Center in David City.

For more information on this topic, go to https://www.cdc.gov/radon/index.html or https://www.epa.gov/radon

For questions or to learn more, call Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email us at info@fourcorners.ne.gov