Report finds high levels of dangerous radon in many Maine homes
AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - A report from the American Lung Association finds that high levels of radon gas have been found in more than a third of homes in Maine.
January is Radon Action Month and the Association is urging all Mainers to get their homes tested. The State of Lung Cancer report found radon levels equal to or higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level in 37% of home in Maine.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas emitted from the ground. Radon can enter a home through cracks in floors, basement walls, foundations and other openings. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked.
“Radon is responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year and is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. Since radon is odorless, tasteless and colorless, the only way to detect radon in your home is to test the air. This is why it is critical for everyone to test their home,” Lance Boucher, Director of Advocacy for the Lung Association, said.
Do-it-yourself radon test kits are simple to use and inexpensive. The EPA says anyone with radon levels at or above 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) should install a mitigation system in their home.
A typical radon mitigation system consists of a vent pipe, fan and properly sealing cracks and other openings. This system collects radon gas from underneath the foundation and vents it to the outside of your home.
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