Check your home during January’s Radon Action MonthJanuary 14, 2019
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can be a serious health hazard among people who are constantly exposed. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., after smoking. During January’s Radon Action Month, our Alaska Native people are encouraged to learn more about radon, which is formed through the decay of uranium beneath the earth’s surface. It escapes through soil and can seep into homes that are built directly on the ground, have basements, or have skirted crawlspaces. The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked radon among the top four public environmental risks. Radon is a radioactive gas. If you are exposed to radon and smoke, your risk for getting lung cancer is even higher. However, radon detection is possible and exposure is preventable. Should I check for radon in my home? Those affected by the November 2018 earthquake in Southcentral Alaska are encouraged to retest their homes for radon. The earthquake disturbed the ground and could have created new cracks and other pathways for radon to escape and enter homes. For people in other areas in Alaska, testing will depend on how your home is built. Is your home built directly on top of the ground? Do you have a basement or skirt around the crawlspace beneath your home?
- Check for radon.
- You do not need to check for radon.
- Follow the directions on your testing kit.
- Test during the winter season when homes are insulated and have less ventilation.
- Test on the lowest occupied level of your house.
- Retest every five years.