January is National Radon Action Month


radon awareness monthopens IMAGE file

Locks can’t protect you. Doors won’t keep it out. A killer may be sneaking into your home without you even knowing it.

It’s radon. And it silently kills about 21,000 Americans every year.

January is National Radon Action Month, and the Dickinson County Conservation Board encourages you to protect yourself and your family from danger by testing your house for this terror. A short-term radon test kit and detailed information is available from the Nature Store in the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji.

Radon is an invisible and odorless gas that enters homes through cracks in a lower level. According to the American Lung Association, radon forms when uranium breaks down to radium and then to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that can cause cancer with prolonged exposure.

Radon is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. Overexposure to the gas mixed with smoking causes a much higher risk of lung cancer, but radon also kills about 2,900 people each year who have never smoked.

Only one in five homes has a problem with radon, but the only way to know if it affects your home is to test for it. Radon could affect you and none of your neighbors or all of your neighbors and not you --- you have to test!

A short-term test is set out to absorb and track radon in a building. It is then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis. If you have unsafe levels of radon, an EPA- or state-certified contractor can help mitigate the problem.

Test kits are available during Dickinson County Nature Center open hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, call 712-336-6352.


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