Has your Home Been Tested for Radon?

January is National Radon Action Month. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages the testing of all homes. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Radon can accumulate in homes and increase the risk of developing lung cancer. High levels of radon have been detected in homes throughout South Carolina, with the highest average radon levels found in the Upstate.

Any home can have a radon problem; the only way to know is to test. DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality encourages current homeowners to request a free radon test kit from the SC Radon Program website at www.scdhec.gov/radon.

Test kits provided by the program are not to be used for testing associated with real estate transactions. It is a good idea to request a professional radon test when purchasing a home. A list of nationally certified radon measurement professionals is maintained on the SC Radon Program website, www.scdhec.gov/radon.

Homes that are found to have a radon issue can be fixed. New homes can be built with radon-resistant features, including a passive venting system. If such a home tests high for radon upon completion, the passive system can be cost-effectively upgraded.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the leading cause among non-smokers. One in 15 homes in the US has a high radon level.

For more information, call 800-768-0362 or email Radon@dhec.sc.gov.