Yates County Public Health along with the New York State Department of Health recommends that Yates County residents test their homes for Radon Gas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 21,000 people die from Radon-induced lung cancer each year. Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer for those who do smoke. To learn about Radon Gas and how to receive a free Radon Gas test kit, contact Yates County Public Health at 315-536-5160.

Radon gas testing is recommended during the colder months when homes and buildings are closed up and less outdoor air enters the home from open doors, windows, and ventilation systems. This is a simple test to use in your home, taking just 48 hours to complete the test in a space in your home where you spend most of your time.

Radon gas is present at elevated levels in approximately 37 percent of basements tested in New York State homes. It is a naturally occurring element from the breakdown of uranium in the earth’s crust. This hazardous gas works its way up through the ground and disperses in outdoor air, but it can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings when it enters basements or slabs through cracks and crevices. Every home should be tested initially and tested again every 5 years; and after major renovations, weatherization, or installation of a radon mitigation system.

Radon problems can be fixed by certified contractors for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs. Information on radon mitigation can be found at: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/mitigation/what_is_mitigation.htm

As part of a chronic disease program, Yates County Public Health can provide a free Radon Gas test kit and instructions for testing to any Yates County residents. Being proactive about testing can help prevent major health problems like lung cancer caused by radon gas.