For Immediate Release: January 28, 2008
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Radon has no color, odor or taste and unless you test for it, there is no way of knowing the radioactive gas is in your home. Radon may be present in as many as 15 percent of the homes in Vermont. Long-term exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in the United States.
The Vermont Department of Health is calling attention to the dangers of radon by encouraging Vermonters to take advantage of free home test kits. Winter is the best time to test for radon.
“The use of a long-term radon test is a way to find out if radon is a problem in your home,” said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN. “The gas is easy to detect with the free kits offered by the Health Department and, if found, radon can be fixed with proper venting techniques.”
Radon is a naturally occurring gas in the soil that comes from the breakdown of uranium. Elevated levels of radon have been found in all types of homes in every area of Vermont.
Houses can act like large chimneys, with warm air rising and escaping out upper floor windows and through cracks in the attic. This creates a vacuum at the lowest level of the house, which can pull the radon from the soil into the house.
Because radon levels can change daily, weekly and seasonally, a test of three to 12 months (ideally including a heating season) gives the most accurate measure.
For a free long-term radon test kit, e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the words “Radon Test Kit” in the subject line of your e-mail and be sure to include your name and Vermont mailing address, or call 1-800-439-8550.