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Townships: Urge Your Residents to Test for Radon

Monday January 1st, 2018
January is Radon Action Month, and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is urging homeowners to test their homes for radon. This colorless, odorless chemical is present in all 67 Pennsylvania counties and is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States.
 
According to DEP, Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the United States. About 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action guideline of 4 picocuries per liter.
 
The best time to test for radon is in the winter months, when homes are closed and radon levels are at their peak. DEP, through a contract with the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, will air public service announcements about radon awareness on television and radio in January. Home testing kits may be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores for about $20 to $30.
 
Township officials should be particularly aware of radon-resistant new construction techniques used to seal soil gas entry points, prevent radon gas intrusion, and vent the radon outdoors. DEP says that when adopted in local building codes, these measures can greatly reduce radon exposure to the home’s occupants, as well as any future buyers of the property.
 
DEP can help townships by providing radon experts and information about testing and mitigation companies and radon control methods that can be adopted through the International Residential Code. For more information, go to www.dep.pa.gov and search “radon.”