LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Radon is the silent killer lurking inside homes and is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is offering free radon test kits while the supply lasts. You can request a kit by calling 574-6650.
Radon is a gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. It forms naturally when uranium, radium and thorium break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes in through cracks and gaps in homes and other buildings.
The entire state of Kentucky is at high risk for radon exposure, with about 40 percent of homes estimated to have unsafe levels, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
Radon can cause lung cancer through prolonged exposure. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, causing between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
The only way to know if radon exists at dangerous levels in your home is to test for it.
Here are a few tips to help prevent radon in your home:
- Stop smoking and discourage smoking in your home.
- Smoking significantly increases the risk of lung cancer from radon.
- Second hand smoking in the home is also a leading cause of Sudden Infant Death (SIDS).
- Increase air flow in your house by opening windows and using fans and vents to circulate air.
- Seal cracks in floors and walls with plaster, caulk, or other mate¬rials designed for this purpose.
- Seek a qualified contractor to help remove the radon from your home.
- Mitigation costs generally range from $1,200 to $2,500 depending on the size and foundation of the home.
- Consult the Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals or the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists National Radon Proficiency Program to locate approved contractors near you.
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