January is National Radon Awareness Month

photo of radon buttonAs the new year rolls in, and our schedules begin to develop their new routines, take time to add home safety checks to your monthly honey-do list. January is National Radon Awareness Month. Most people have heard about this silent killer, but don’t know how to find it or manage it.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive chemical found in soil. It is released as an invisible and odorless gas. Radon is a contributing factor for 21,000 deaths a year by causing lung cancer. Learn more, here. Several countries in North West Georgia, including metro-Atlanta are at high risk for radon exposure. In Douglas, Paulding, and Gwinnett counties high levels of Radon were found in over 20% of homes.

The good news it, mitigation is cheap and easy (compared to lead or asbestos abatement). There really is not much to do except direct the radon away from occupied spaces and vent it out of your home. When building a new home, a simple venting system can cost $330. Retrofits on existing homes can be up to $2,000.

To find out if your family is at risk, pick up a $10 home test kit from your local UGA Cooperative Extension office, here.