Care to Care, a Multi-Specialty Management company, is proud to observe January as National Radon Action Month. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. However, its effects may be deadly! Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers, claiming the lives of over 20,000 Americans each year. Radon is produced by the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium and is present in nearly all soils. The problem with radon occurs when the gas enters your home and becomes trapped. Elevated radon levels have been discovered in every state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates that as many as 8 million homes throughout the country have elevated levels of radon.
Care to Care emphasizes the importance of testing radon levels in your home, schools, and office buildings to help prevent unnecessary exposure. Testing is easy and inexpensive. Short-term tests are useful to see if further testing is warranted and are available at home centers, hardware stores and online retailers. To conduct the test, simply place the radon tester in the lowest livable area of your house that is regularly used, since that will contain the highest radon level, and then mail the test to the lab for the results. Long-term tests measure levels for 90 days to one year and are available through state radon agencies and online retailers. Continuous radon tests are also available and may be used for both short-and long-term testing. The US EPA recommends doing a second test if an initial short-term test registers 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. If a second test registers above 4 pCi/L, then consider taking steps to reduce radon levels in your home. There are several easy repairs to reduce radon levels, such as caulking foundation cracks and placing an airtight cover on your sump pump; however, usually, the installation of a radon mitigation system may be required to effectively reduce radon levels to an acceptable range. For more information, contact your state radon office at epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html.
Rachel S. Title, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Care to Care, LLC