TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Health reminds Floridians of the importance of identifying and mitigating elevated indoor radon levels in homes and buildings statewide. January is Radon Action Awareness Month and is designed to educate Floridians about the dangers of being exposed to elevated indoor radon levels.
“Indoor radon exposure is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancers in the United States” said Florida Department of Health State Toxicologist, Dr. Kendra Goff. “Floridians should protect their families from this invisible hazard by testing their home for radon and reducing high levels.”
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas you can’t see, smell, or touch. It is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, water, and construction materials. While outdoor levels produce little risk, higher concentrations found indoors present potential health hazards. According to the EPA, radon in indoor air is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. In Florida, 1 in 5 homeowners testing for radon find elevated levels. High levels of radon have been found in single-family homes and high-rise buildings alike throughout Florida. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.
To prevent dangerous radon exposure, the Department suggests:
- All homeowners should test their homes for radon by either using an over-the-counter test kit from a hardware or home improvement store or by hiring a certified radon measurement business.
- Homeowners should address elevated radon problems immediately to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.
- New homes should include radon-resistant features which can be easily and inexpensively installed during initial construction. These features are especially important in areas reporting elevated radon levels.
For more information about radon, its health effects and testing procedures, please visit the Department’s Radon Program’s website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/radon/ or contact the Department of Health Radon Hotline at 1-800-543-8279.
The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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