Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
Free radon test kits available to residents
During National Radon Action Month, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health is urging residents to learn more about the hazards of radon, a radioactive gas responsible for thousands of lung cancer deaths each year.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas found throughout the environment that enters homes through cracks in the floor or spaces around utility pipes and can reach harmful levels when trapped inside buildings.
Long-term exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers.
According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, homes in Allen County have a “high potential” for elevated radon levels. But all homes should be tested for radon regardless of the age of the home, geographic location, or type of construction.
“This is an ideal time to test your home for radon, because short-term tests require closed windows and doors,” said Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner. “Testing is easy to do, and it’s the only way to know for certain if your home is safe or your health is at risk.”
The health department is offering free test kits while supplies last. Test kits can also be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores or directly from radon testing companies. If a high level of radon is found, the radon can be reduced with a proper mitigation system installed by a qualified professional.
“Radon gas can enter your home through cracks in foundations and basement walls, dirt-floor crawlspaces, and sump pumps,” says Dave Fiess, Director of Vector Control and Environmental Services. “Even if you live on a slab foundation, you should still test your home for radon.”
Test kits can be picked up Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the health department’s main office on the 5th floor of the City-County Building, 1 E. Main St., or at Vector Control and Environmental Services, 2242 Carroll Road.
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Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. It is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil, rocks, and water under homes and can seep up from the ground into buildings through cracks in foundations, basement walls, and sump pumps. Long-term exposure to radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The only way to know if you are being exposed to radon in your home is to run a test.