January is National Radon Action Month, and your state and local health departments urge you to learn more about radon—a leading cause of lung cancer—and test for radon in your home. Due to COVID-19, more people are finding themselves working from home and learning remotely. This is a great time to ensure that your home environment is safe for you and your family by checking radon levels.
The Norwalk Health Department will mail free radon testing kits while supplies last to residents. The kits were provided as part of the Radon Partnership from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) Lead, Radon and Healthy Homes Program. To receive a free radon kit please complete this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NHDRADON. Kits will be mailed out once a week to applicants.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas released in soil, rock, and water from the breakdown of uranium. It can be drawn into homes and other buildings through cracks and other openings in the foundation. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon gas indoors is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and smokers are at an even higher risk of lung cancer when exposed to radon.
Radon levels vary throughout Connecticut. Levels of radon may vary in each home depending on the structure of the building; your home can have elevated levels of radon while your neighbor’s home does not. Because you cannot see, taste, or smell radon, the only way to tell 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 you cannot get a kit from the Health Department, some low cost testing kits are available from the American Lung Association’s online store (lung.org) . You can also get testing kits at your local hardware store.
If radon levels are high (4 pCi/L or higher), CT DPH strongly recommends that homeowners hire a professional to help lower the levels. These professionals are trained to reduce radon in homes by using ventilation and depressurization systems and other techniques. As with many home repairs, the cost of fixing radon problems varies. CT DPH estimates that the average cost of this service ranges from $1,200 to $1,500. For more information and a list of radon professionals please visit the CT DPH website (http://www.ct.gov/dph/radon).
If you need assistance with filling out the radon survey or have any additional questions please contact 203-854-7790.