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|Health Officials Urge Testing for Deadly Radon
|Thousands of people die every year from something they can't see, smell or taste, and health officials say performing a simple test can reveal if the invisible killer is in your home.
The culprit is radon gas, which Environmental Protection Agency officials say is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind cigarette smoking and claims the lives of between 7,000 and 30,000 Americans annually. Officials estimate 1 in 15 homes in the United States have an elevated radon level.
Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety ranks Knox County a high potential risk for radon. That has local health officials like Wil Hayes encouraging residents to test their homes if they've not done it before. Hayes says it's a simple process that doesn't take a lot of time, and kits are available for a nominal fee at the health department. Officials recommend testing for radon in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy.
Hayes says the test is important because it's the only way of knowing for sure if your home has radon gas present. Radon enters a home naturally through the ground and into the air. It can leak through cracks and gaps in floors and walls, cavities inside walls, gaps around service pipes and through a home's water supply.
Health officials have designated January "Radon Action Month" to raise awareness of the deadly gas and the need to test for it.
More information about radon, kits to test for the gas, or to schedule a radon educational presentation contact the Knox County Health Department at (309) 344-2224 or go online to www.knoxcountyhealth.org.
|01 10 09 by Newsroom
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