Cayuga County Health Department: Put radon testing on resolution list

January … a time we look ahead with optimism and intent to better ourselves and how we live. Our resolutions for a new year are often health-oriented with a vow to improve our well-being and safety. We may pledge to lose weight, exercise regularly or eat less fast food. Some resolutions require little sacrifice while others require firm commitment and effort. One effort that can be made to help protect our health that requires very little effort or sacrifice is to test our homes for radon.

January has been designated as National Radon Action Month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction practices.

Radon is a carcinogen, which means that it causes cancer, and because we can’t see, smell or taste it, it is easy to forget that radon may be a problem in any home. It is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is found in almost all soils in every part of the United States. It enters the air after seeping into homes through the ground from cracks and other holes in a home’s foundation. Without proper ventilation, it becomes confined inside and consequently is included in the air we breathe.

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