January is Radon Action Month
Washington Township Health Department, Morris County, New Jersey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Radon Program, announces that January has been designated Radon Action Month.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. However, because radon is invisible and odorless, it is easy to ignore this potential hazard in our own homes.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium and radium break down in the soil and in rock formations. Radon gas moves up into the home through cracks in the foundation and openings around pumps, pipes and drains.
Statistics indicate that of homes tested for radon in Washington Township, as many as 43% have recorded above acceptable levels. Because radon levels vary from house to house, the only way to determine if your home exceeds the action level is to test it for radon.
Radon is measured in picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The average U.S. indoor level is about 1.3 pCi/L. At 4 pCi/L, the risk of lung cancer from radon is greater than the risk from fire or other home sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the NJDEP recommend that action be taken to reduce radon levels if the level in the home is greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L.
Once again this year, Washington Township is fortunate to have obtained a grant from the State of New Jersey for the purpose of promoting Radon awareness. For that reason, Radon Test Kits will be available free of charge for Washington and Chester Township residents (with proof of residency) at the Washington and Chester Township Health Department offices, while supplies last. The kit includes the testing canister, instructions, pre-paid mailer and laboratory testing. Results are mailed directly to the homeowner.
The Health Department encourages all residents to test their homes for Radon.