DPH urges people to test homes to protect their health

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – As part of National Radon Action Month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services urges Kentuckians to learn more about the potential health effects of radon exposure and how to check your home for this potentially dangerous gas.

To better acquaint Kentuckians with the dangers from exposure to radon, a short video clip, has been made available through the Kentucky Radon Coalition and Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals.

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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which designates Radon Action Month and supports DPH’s Radon Program, elevated radon levels in the home are a common occurrence. In fact, an estimated 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. have high radon levels.

Similarly, many Kentucky counties contain radon levels in excess of what is considered by the EPA to be safe (the EPA action level for radon is 4 pico curies per liter of air). In Jefferson County, for example, more than 49 percent of homes contain elevated radon levels and more than 55 percent of Fayette County contain elevated radon levels.

“Living in a home with high radon levels can be dangerous for your health. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and it is estimated to cause over 20,000 deaths each year in the U.S.,” said Clay Hardwick, coordinator for Kentucky’s Radon Program.

Radon builds up in homes over time and cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. The only way to know if radon levels are elevated is to test, which is simple and low cost.

“There is no way to know if your house has high levels of radon unless you get your house tested,” said Rebecca Gillis, director of the Division of Public Health Protection and Safety. “The good news is that radon levels in a home can be dramatically reduced or even eliminated.”

Homeowners can test their homes with a simple kit and if their home has high radon levels, they can fix it. Radon reduction repairs can be done with the help of a licensed radon mitigation contractor.

For more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation or to order a test kit online, visit:

• Kentucky’s Radon Program website, http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/radongas.htm.
• CDC’s Radon website, http://www.cdc.gov/radon.
• University of Kentucky BREATHE’s radon website, http://www.uky.edu/breathe/radon.

The Kentucky Radon Program focuses education efforts through a coalition of county health departments, universities, and non-profit organizations to increase awareness about radon testing and mitigation in efforts to reduce lung cancer incidence in Kentucky.

Media release from Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.