National Healthy Homes Month

June is National Healthy Homes Month. This year’s theme, “Unlocking the Potential of America’s Children: Check Your Home – Protect Your Family,” serves as a great reminder to test our homes for a common, hidden threat to your family: radon. Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless, invisible gas that causes lung cancer and is responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths each year.

What is radon?

We can’t stop radon from forming, but we can protect our families from it. Radon is a natural element that gets its start in the uranium found in soil and rocks beneath our homes. As uranium breaks down, it forms radium, another element that eventually turns into radon gas. Radon can then seep into your home through cracks in the foundation, walls, basement floors and other openings. Once inside your home, radon will not cause any immediate symptoms but over the long term it can cause lung cancer in smokers and nonsmokers alike. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause in nonsmokers.

Testing & safety tips

Your home can have elevated levels of radon while your neighbor’s does not. The first step to keep your family safe is through testing.

Test your home for radon

It’s reported that dangerous levels of radon exist in nearly one in 15 homes. Inexpensive radon testing kits can be found at local hardware stores or online. A certified radon-testing professional can also test your home.

Let others know about the silent, invisible danger

Radon can be present at dangerous levels in all buildings, not just homes. Share the potential presence of radon with your neighbors, family and friends. Speak with local community officials and public health professionals to encourage radon testing – and installation of mitigation systems if high levels are found – in schools and childcare facilities and other public and private facilities.

Tweet about it

Looking to spread the word on Twitter? Tweet this: Did you know that radon, an odorless, invisible gas can be found in your home and cause lung cancer? Check out @LungAssociation resources and learn more at Lung.org/radon.

Protecting your family

There are a couple of ways that we can protect our family from this deadly gas. If you test for radon and find presence of it in your home, a radon professional can install a radon mitigation system, which is usually a vent pipe and fan. You can also seal the cracks in your home. For more information, check out this Homeowner’s Guide: Steps to Test and Reduce Your Exposure to Radon.

If you are building a new home, ask your contractor to install radon-resistant features like gravel and plastic sheeting below the foundation and vent pipes.

The American Lung Association will continue to work with national partners and government agencies to help reduce radon in all homes. Together, we can raise awareness and keep our communities and lungs safe.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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