January is Radon Action Month, according to the Surgeon General. Health agencies throughout the United States have joined forces to promote awareness of the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers. The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and National Cancer Institute all agree that radon is a national health problem and encourage radon testing during the January awareness drive.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas. One in 15 American homes contains high levels of radon. Millions of Americans are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. In fact, a recent study by Harvard University ranks radon as America’s number one in-home hazard. One can avoid this health hazard by taking simple steps to test a home for radon and fix it if necessary.

Radon gas is not isolated to certain geographical areas or home types. Radon problems have been detected in homes in every county of the United States. It caused more American fatalities last year than carbon monoxide, fires and handguns combined. If a home hasn’t been tested for radon in the past two years, EPA and the Surgeon General urge the homeowner to take action. Information on locating qualified test kits or qualified radon testers is available by contacting one’s state radon office.

The federal commitment made by EPA, the General Services Administration, and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban  Development, Interior and Veterans Affairs will focus efforts on radon reduction and mitigation in homes, especially those of low-income families, many of whom do not have the resources to make the simple fixes necessary to protect their homes and loved ones. Learn more about the Federal Radon Action Plan at www.RadonPlan.org.

Last year, the federal consortium met with key leaders in the public health, environmental and private sectors to launch the Federal Radon Action Plan that includes both immediate and long-term steps to reduce radon exposure. Media groups can participate in this nationwide initiative simply by writing articles and broadcasting messages about this deadly gas and by promoting National Radon Awareness Month 2013.

Learn more about National Radon Action Month at www.Radon Month.org.

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