Pandemic increases impetus for testing
NASHVILLE – With Tennesseans spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) encourages households to take advantage of free radon test kits.
Gov. Bill Lee has declared January as Radon Action Month statewide.
“Knowing the level of radon in your home has always been important, but in the current environment it is even more important to be informed,” Dr. Kendra Abkowitz, director of the Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices at TDEC, said. “The test kits are free, and we urge all Tennesseans to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring radioactive gas that can threaten people’s health when it is trapped in confined spaces. It is produced by the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soils. The only way to know if radon is in a home at levels that are harmful to health is to test for it.
For more information and to request a free test kit, visit https://www.tn.gov/environment/radon or call 800-232-1139.
Radon does not generally present a health risk outdoors because it is diluted in the open air. Radon can, however, build up to dangerous levels inside a house. A house can act like a vacuum, drawing radon through foundation cracks and other openings. Radon may also be present in well water and can be released in a home when the water is used for showering and other household activity.
TDEC manages the Tennessee Radon Program, a statewide awareness and education initiative, where the goal is to educate the public about the risk of radon exposure in indoor environments.