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January is National Radon Action Month. Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally and is found in soil and rock. It seeps into homes through cracks in the foundation, walls and joints and can cause cancer. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lung cancer, due to radon exposure, claims about 21,000 lives in the United States annually.
Pitt County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division recommends that all homes be tested for radon to lower risks for lung cancer. The Division is partnering with the North Carolina Radon Program of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to provide free short-term radon test kits in recognition of National Radon Action Month. A limited supply of radon test kits is being made available locally. Individuals, who are interested in receiving a free test kit, can call 252.902.3205 for more information. Kits are available on a first come, first served basis until the supply is depleted. Only one kit per home is needed to determine if your home has a high level of radon.
For more information about radon gas, radon gas testing or to learn about programs that can help with the financial cost of radon mitigation, individuals can visit the North Carolina Radon Program of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services at www.ncradon.org.