January is National Radon Action Month, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging South Carolinians to become familiar with the risks of radon when it’s present inside homes.
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air, but can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings.
“Elevated levels of radon have been found in homes in almost every county in South Carolina,” said Rhonda Thompson, Bureau of Air Quality Chief. “Two homes right next to each other can have different radon levels. The only way to know if a home has high radon levels is to test for radon.”
The EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
“South Carolina has nationally certified radon professionals who can measure radon and install solutions to reduce elevated radon levels. Lists are available on our website”, said Leslie Coolidge, coordinator of South Carolina’s Radon Program.
The South Carolina Radon Program is offering a limited number of free home radon test kits that it makes available to homeowners on a first come, first served basis. Residents who would like to request a free radon test kit should visit DHEC’s Radon web page or call 1-800-768-0362.