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Radon, A Silent Killer

By Kent Donahue

January 12, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure, and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families. 

During National Radon Action Month in January, DOH-Orange is conducting in home radon tests in Orange County.  If you are interested in having your home tested, contact the department at 407-723-5246. Be aware, supplies are limited. 

In Florida, one in five homes tested has elevated radon levels. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air, but which can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. Scientist have long been concerned about the health risk of radon, however, never has there been such overwhelming proof that exposure to elevated levels of radon cause lung cancer in humans.  

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. 

“Because you can’t see or smell radon, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes,” says Dr. Kevin Sherin, Health Officer for DOH-Orange. “We encourage everyone to become educated on the dangers of radon and test their home for radon.”

Testing homes for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores. Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost.

The Florida Department of Health urges Orange County residents to take action during this year’s National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon. Radon poses a serious threat to our community’s health but there is a straightforward solution.