Health Department Urges Home Radon Testing

Test kits available for purchase soon

Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that occurs naturally from the radioactive decay of uranium or thorium in the soil. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers; for smokers it greatly magnifies the cancer risk. To address this serious health issue in the community, the Putnam County Department of Health is launching a new program to encourage and assist residents in having their homes checked for radon.

Putnam is one of the New York state counties identified as a “high radon risk” area. Typically radon gas enters a home through cracks in foundations, floors and walls, and can accumulate to dangerous levels. It can also enter a home through the use of well water.

“The only way to know if radon levels in your home are high is to have your home tested,” said Dr. Allen Beals, Putnam County health commissioner. “Elevated radon levels in your home can be corrected. It is important to find out the necessary steps to take to protect your family from this serious health hazard. With high radon levels in your home, breathing that air could be the same as getting frequent chest x-rays.”

Radon test kits will be available for purchase soon from the Health Department for $10. This short-term test remains in your home for a few days to check the air. The kit is sealed and mailed in for analysis. The lab analysis fee is included in the original $10 charge, and results are usually returned within a few weeks. If elevated levels are found, the problem can be fixed. Costs vary and inexpensive solution can correct some situations.

For more information about radon and radon testing, visit the New York State Department of Health website or call the Putnam County Health Department at 845-808-1390.

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