03/04/13 Radon Test kits are available for free at the Marshall County Health Department. They will be given out on a first come-first served basis. Radon is a colorless odorless gas that can accumulate in homes or buildings. This gas is generated by the decay of naturally occurring radioactive materials in the soil. The main health concern associated with radon is lung cancer. It has been named the second highest cause of lung cancer in the US – second only to cigarette smoke.
The only way to determine whether or not the gas poses a threat in your home is to test for it. A limited number of test kits can be obtained from the Marshall County Health Department at 112 West Jefferson St., Plymouth, Room 103. Test kits can also be purchased from select hardware stores throughout Marshall County. Follow the directions in the test kits and then send the canister to a laboratory for analysis. A short time later, a report will be available with the results. If detected at a significant level that requires action, a list of radon certified mitigation (removal) specialists is available at the Indiana State Department of Health website (http://www.in.gov/isdh/24374.htm).
Radon gas can enter a home through several paths as it travels upward through the soil. Cracks in a basement floor, below ground sumps and footings, and bare ground in crawl spaces are just a few ways. Once in the structure, radon becomes trapped in the structure and may build up to unhealthy levels. Your efforts now to determine the presence of radon in your home may go a long way in protecting your family’s overall health. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/radon.