The Kane County Health Department, in conjunction with the Kane County Healthy Places Coalition, recommends that not only is it important to test your home for dangerous levels of radon, it is just as important to take steps to lower the levels, a procedure called “mitigation.”
Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) estimates that only about one-third of those homes in Kane County found to have radon levels above the federal standard of 4 pCi/l actually have been mitigated. The cost to mitigate a home averages about $1,200 and is done by certified professionals. You can find a list of professionals in your area by visiting the IEMA website.
The Health Department’s website contains a wealth of information about radon, including homeowners’ guidelines for reducing radon levels. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium and is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the world, along with smoking and secondhand smoke.
Rocks and soil can contain uranium. Radon gas can enter through cracks in homes/buildings/schools and expose people to the radiation. Because of the geology in the Midwestern United States, homes in Kane County have the potential for higher levels of radon.
The Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan targets chronic diseases such as cancer and the department recommends that all homes in Kane County be tested for radon. Testing kits are available for $15 from the Kane County Health Department and Kane County Development Office and from most local hardware stores.
A Speakers Bureau has been created to offer free radon presentations to the community. More information and resources about radon is available on the Health Department’s website at kanehealth.com/radon.htm.
During the month of January, you also can visit radon displays at your local library, which is another Coalition awareness effort this month.
The Kane County Healthy Places Coalition is a group of community residents and stakeholders interested in environmental health. You can participate in the next Kane County Healthy Places Coalition Meeting from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Jan. 30, at the Kane County Government Center, Building A, Ground Floor Auditorium, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department