The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in urging residents to learn more about the dangers of radon, particularly in the home.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that is found naturally in rocks and soil. It enters homes through cracks and other openings in foundations. Any home can have elevated levels of radon. The only way to know if your home has an elevated radon level is to test.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health has free radon testing kits available 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at 650 Newtown Pike. For information, call (859) 231-9791.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has long promoted radon testing. When homeowners find high levels of radon, they are urged to fix the problem. Typically, radon mitigation systems are installed to reduce the radioactive gas. The systems are designed for continuous suction and exhaust of the gas so it doesn’t collect in basements, crawl spaces and other places within a home.
It is estimated that a million homes in Kentucky have elevated radon levels. Many homeowners are not fully educated on the link between radon and lung cancer, thereby resulting in a small number of residential mitigations. Only about 2,500 mitigations are done each year in Kentucky. Also, more newly built homes could be constructed radon-resistant, if the owner requests the builder to put in radon prevention technologies (radon-resistant new construction or RRNC) in the design.
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