DEP Secretary Mike Krancer says that everyone needs to test their homes for radon as it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and affects almost half of all homes in the state.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally through the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It can seep into homes through cracks in basements and foundations, and can build up inside to concentrations many times the recommended level.
The best time to test for Radon is during the cold weather months, when homes and buildings are closed and radon is most likely to build up to unhealthy levels.
Residents may hire a certified radon testing company, though it is easy to perform a radon test by using a kit that can be purchased at a home improvement store or a Pennsylvania-certified radon laboratory. Completed test kits are to be sent to a Pennsylvania-certified lab, where the samples are analyzed and the results are then sent to the resident. If results reveal radon levels above the action level, a radon mitigation system may be necessary.
Radon mitigation systems cost between $700 and $1,200 and require minimal maintenance. Most home or building owners choose to hire a radon mitigation professional to install the system.
For more information about radon, including information about interpreting test results or to find a Pennsylvania-certified radon contractor, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Radon, or call 1-800-23-RADON.