January has been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as National Radon Action Month, and this national effort to take action against radon extends locally.
You can't see it, smell it, or taste it, but radon may be sneaking into your home. The only way to know if this dangerous radioactive gas is present in your home is by testing. The Killingworth Health Department has a limited number of radon test kits. They are simple to use.
Says the EPA's website: "Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family."
Radon, explains the Connecticut Department of Public Health's publication Radon Basic Facts, "is formed from the radioactive decay of radium and uranium, which occur naturally in bedrock worldwide."
Radon is commonly found in rock, water and soil. The publication goes on to say "higher concentrations are possible near certain types of bedrock (granite, shale) that have high uranium content."
The State Health Department provided the town with about a dozen test kits, and Health Director Maura Esposito has requested an additional 50 kits. Last year, the town received 50 test kits.
Radon test kits can be picked up at Town Hall Monday through Thursday from 8:30am until 12:30pm. The package contains Radon Basic Facts, instructions, a test canister, a test information card, a seal for the canister, and a postage paid envelope. The duration of the test is two to seven days.
Basically, one completes the information card, removes the label from the canister, and exposes the canister in a selected location for two to seven days. Next, the canister is sealed with a label which reads "Use This Label To Seal Perforated Side Of Canister". The date and time the test was stopped is filled in on the test card, and then the canister and card are mailed off according to the directions.
According to Esposito, radon test kits are also available through the American Lung Association if Killingworth Health Department runs out.
"If I can give them at no cost, I would prefer to do that. I think people are more grateful of that," Esposito said.
Please stop by the land use office Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 12:30pm to get your free radon test kit. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Health Director, Maura Esposito at 860-663-1765 ext. 223.