Health department urges residents to test homes for Radon

In support of National Radon Action Month, the Trumbull Health Department urges residents to learn more about radon—a leading cause of lung cancer—and to test for radon in their homes. To help promote testing, the Health Department recommends going to the CT Department of Public Health (CT DPH) website for a free radon testing kit. CT DPH will be offering 1 free test kit (per address while supplies last) to Connecticut residents during the month of January.

Radon is an invisible and odorless gas that can enter homes through cracks in the basement floor or from well water. Prolonged exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Only one in five homes has a radon problem. But the only way to know if your home is free of radon is to test it.

Radon levels vary throughout Connecticut. Because you cannot see, taste, or smell radon, the only way to determine if you have a radon problem in your home is to test for it. Testing involves placing a small device in your home for at least 48 hours and then sending the device to a laboratory for results. If levels of radon are high (4 pCi/L or higher), the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) strongly recommends that homeowners enlist a radon mitigation professional to help lower the levels. However, radon exposure at any level poses some health risk, and according to the CT DPH, homeowners may want to consider reducing radon levels if they are greater than 2 pCi/L.

Radon mitigation professionals are trained to reduce radon in homes using ventilation and depressurization systems and other techniques. As with many home repairs, the cost of radon mitigation varies. The CT DPH estimates that the service may cost $1200 to $1500. A list of radon professionals is available on the CT DPH website.

Testing kits can also be purchased at the American Lung Association website or by calling (1-800-LUNG-USA or 860-289-5401) to order a testing kit. The American Lung Association of the Northeast is offering a radon test kit and information packet for $14.50.

For more information about radon and radon testing, visit the Trumbull Health Department.