National Radon Awareness Week is Oct. 17-24

October 7, 2010

Oct. 17-24 is National Radon Awareness Week, and experts are urging homeowners to have their homes checked for radon levels.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally and is harmless at low levels. But it can become hazardous when the gas seeps into homes and concentration levels rise.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is one of the most serious public health risks and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The agency attributes approximately 21,000 lung cancer cases each year to radon exposure.

EPA has set an action level for radon at 4 picocuries per liter of air, but notes that lower levels may be dangerous for certain individuals, including children and the elderly. The agency estimates that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of radon.

EPA provides state-specific information about radon, including where you can receive a test kit in your area.