Free radon test kits available — supplies limited
You can’t see radon and you can’t smell it or taste it. But it can be a problem in your home. Radon can be found in the air and can enter homes and buildings through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations. Radon can also be found in well water. Radon is a significant health threat throughout Connecticut.
Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels, and winter is the perfect time to test your home. Thanks to support from the CT Department of Public Health (DPH), the Trumbull Monroe Health District (TMHD) has free radon test kits, available to Trumbull and Monroe residents. Supplies are limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis. Individuals who obtain kits must provide proof of residency and share test results with the Health District.
Contact TMHD at 203-452-5195 to reserve your kit today. TMHD also has radon educational materials available.
Radon gas is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas. Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. The Connecticut Department of Public Health estimates that about 20 percent of Connecticut homes have elevated levels of radon gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year.
“Because radon is impossible to sense, people tend to minimize the health effects and ignore the possibility that it might exist in elevated levels in their homes,” said Patrice Sulik, TMHD Director of Health. “Residents can decrease their risk by testing their homes and reducing elevated radon levels when found. Testing is simple and inexpensive and is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk of exposure to radon gas in your home.”
It is recommended that you test the lowest living area of your home; therefore, if you have a finished basement, you should conduct the test in the basement. Testing should be conducted between January and March, when windows and doors are closed and heating systems are turned on.
Radon test kits that meet EPA guidelines are available at local hardware stores, home improvement stores, other retail outlets, or directly from a laboratory. Kits can also be ordered online from the National Radon Program Services at http://sosradon.org/test-kits or by calling the American Lung Association of New England at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872). Elevated radon levels can be addressed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that for many common home repairs such as painting or having a new water heater installed (anywhere from $1200-$1500).
For more information on radon, radon testing, and radon mitigation, visit the CT Department of Public Health Radon Program website at ct.gov/dph or call 860-509-7367 or visit epa.gov/radon.
Contact TMHD at 203-452-5195 or the State Radon Office for a list of qualified radon contractors or for places where reliable radon test kits can be obtained.