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Radon, A Silent Killer

By Kent Donahue

January 14, 2019

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure. 

Orange County residents are encouraged to take action to protect their homes and families 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. 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. 

“Everyone should be educated on the dangers of radon, and they should test their homes for radon because it is a silent killer,” says Dr. Kevin Sherin, Health Officer for DOH-Orange. 

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.

For more information on radon, radon testing, mitigation and radon-resistant new construction, call the Florida Department of Health at 800-543-8279 or visit our website at  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/ or visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month website at https://www.epa.gov/radon/national-radon-action-month-information.