Approximately 1 home in 15 across the nation has unacceptably high radon levels; in some areas of the country, as many as one out of two homes has high levels.
Radon, a radioactive product of the element radium, is invisible and odorless and occurs naturally in soil, rock and water across the country. Although relatively harmless when diluted in the open air, radon can pose a serious health threat when concentrated indoors. When inhaled, radon releases a small burst of energy that can damage the DNA in lung tissue over time and lead to lung cancer.
Radon gas can leak into your house through the basement or crawl space, or through well water and can be a problem for all types of homes-new and old. The good news is that testing for radon in your home is simple and inexpensive. You can monitor radon levels yourself by using a screening test, which takes 2-3 days to determine radon concentrations. If the test demonstrates a radon level of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air) or higher, then a long-term test (6 months to a year) should be done to confirm the elevated levels. If long-term testing supports elevated radon levels, a qualified contractor should be brought in to help lessen or eliminate the problem. This is referred to as “mitigation”.
The Stratford Health Department encourages residents to test their homes for elevated levels of radon. Testing is especially important for homes that have never been tested or have undergone any new construction. You may purchase a Radon Screening Test for a reduced cost of $10.00 at the Health Department located at 468 Birdseye Street, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
To learn more about radon, you can also visit the sites below:
Environmental Protection Agency
CT Department of Public Health
www.dph.state.ct.us/BRS/Radon (go to environmental health)