PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — January is recognized as National Radon Action Month. In Bay County, The Health Department is encouraging residents to get their homes tested for radon in an effort to make 2020 a healthier and safer year.
“Radon is a naturally occurring odorless gas that is emitted by certain rock formations, one of the more common is granite,” said Environmental Supervisor with The Health Dept., Gary Lichtler.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 21,000 people a year die from cancer caused by exposure to radon.
“Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer and still the primary cause in non-smokers of lung cancer,” said Lichtler.
Test kits are one way to test the radon levels in your home. The Health Department in Bay County offers these to the public, for free,” said Lichtler.
“If anybody has a concern, we have test kits available. You can go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/Outreach/testkitrequest.html and you can click on the link to request a test kit,” said Lichtler.
Once you request a kit, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to be delivered to your home.
Since radon awareness has become more widespread, elevated radon levels have been fixed in more than 2 million homes in the US.
“There’s absolutely no reason not to check, it’s highly unlikely here in Bay County, but it is possible,” said Lichtler.
Test kits are also available at home improvement and hardware stores.
“Anything that a family can do to mitigate it, is in everybody’s best interest,” said Lichtler.
The Health Department says taking action to reduce exposure in your home is a long term investment in your family’s health.