HARRISBURG, PA. (Erie News Now) – In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania officials encouraged residents to be aware of radon.
The odorless, invisible, and radioactive gas can enter your home and other buildings from the ground.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), along with Pennsylvania’s Second Lady are encouraging homeowners to test for the gas.
The invisible intruder finds its way into homes through cracks, joints, holes, and even well water.
It can create a serious health hazard if untreated.
“This constant exposure damages your lungs and the lining of your lungs, and it’s something that we can prevent,” said Second Lady Gisele Fetterman.
“Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking,” said DEP Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs, Ramez Ziadeh.
According to the DEP, an estimated 40-percent of homes in Pennsylvania are believed to have elevated radon levels.
Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium, found in most soils.
Especially here in Pennsylvania.
“And we found that Pennsylvania’s geology has some slightly elevated levels of uranium,” said Ziadeh.
“Because of our geology, it makes us the state that has the most cases of radon,” said Second Lady Gisele Fetterman.
Once inside a home, radon becomes trapped and builds up. It can also be an issue for schools and businesses.
Thankfully, radon test kits are inexpensive and effective.
“It’s a small canister. You open it up, you place in the basement,” said Fetterman.
Tests have to be sent to a lab after sitting on the ground level or in the basement for a few days. Once sent in for testing, the lab will notify you of the results typically within a week.
Ziadeh says winter is an ideal time to test your home for radon.
“Winter is ideal because doors and windows are usually closed in the winter time, and that provides for more accurate results,” said Ziadeh.
If you find above average levels of radon after testing, a radon mitigation system or reduction system may be necessary for your home, school, or office.