EPA Recognizes January As National Radon Action Month - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

EPA Recognizes January As National Radon Action Month

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You can't see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be at a dangerous level in your home.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in America.

It claims the lives of nearly 20,000 Americans each year.

"The particles are cancerous," said Home Inspector John Keener. "They attach to dust and you breathe them in with your normal breathing. They get in your lungs and cause lung cancer."

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon.

"The EPA recommends that anything higher four picocuries per liter, consider having a radon mitigation system installed," said Co-Owner of Basements of West Virginia Ricki Edwardson.

"Mitigation involves putting something under the basement floor or in the crawlspace, a pipe," Keener said. "They actually use a fan to suck the air out from underneath the house so it takes the radon gas and vents it outside."

You can hire a professional to do your radon test or you can pick up a detection kit at Lowe's or Home Depot and do it yourself.

Lab analysis is included.

All you need to do is set out this charcoal for two days, put it inside of an envelope and send it to the lab. You'll get your results back in two to three weeks.

If you choose the professional route, make sure you do your homework before making the hire.

"If you hire a contractor, you want to make sure that they're properly licensed," said Co-Owner of West Virginia Basements Pat Edwardson. "We have two licenses and the state of West Virginia actually requires you to have two licenses."

The EPA recommends you check your homes radon levels every two years.

For additional information on the risks of radon or how to get your home checked, you can visit the EPA website.