West Windsor Township Health Department FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2014
Contact: Jill Swanson, Health Officer
West Windsor Township Health Department is pleased to announce that they will cooperate with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Radon Section in a special radon awareness program to promote testing of radon in residential homes. In its “Radon Awareness Program”, the NJDEP Radon Section provides outreach assistance to promote radon testing in homes. A limited supply of free radon test kits will be available in the Health Department for homeowners on a first come, first serve basis. West Windsor Health Department provides services to the communities of West Windsor, Robbinsville and Hightstown. Residents are encouraged to contact the office at 609-936-8400 to check availability, reserve a kit or request educational materials.
The Health Department is pleased to cooperate with the NJDEP in this program to ensure that all residents are aware of the need to test homes and reduce radon levels where necessary. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. Radon testing is easy and problems can be mitigated.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium breaks down in the soil and in rock formations. Small amounts of uranium are found in nearly all soils and rocks. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings around sump pumps, pipes and drains. Although radon will rapidly disperse outdoors, it can become trapped inside a home.
High radon levels are associated with a greater risk of lung cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer resulting in approximately 21,000 deaths in the United States per year. It is recommended that homes be mitigated if they have radon concentrations of 4 pCi/L or more.
There is no truly “safe” level of radon since lung cancer can result from very low exposures to radon; however, the risk decreases as the radon concentration decreases. If your test result is less than 4.0 pCi/L, you may want to discuss with mitigation companies whether the radon level can be brought down still further. In about half of the homes that have been mitigated in New Jersey, radon levels have been brought to less that 1 pCi/L.
Homeowners who tested in the past and found low levels of radon may wish to retest to determine if radon concentrations may have changed, due to changes in air flow within the house from new additions or other renovations, or due to new construction nearby that may have caused changes in the local geology.
In addition to test kits provided by the West Windsor Township Health Department, the DEP’s Radon Section can provide a list of state-certified companies that provide testing services or do-it-yourself test kits, as well as companies that provide radon remediation services. For more information on radon, contact the Health Department at (609)-936-8400 or the NJDEP Radon Section at (800) 648-0294. The following websites provide additional resources: www.njradon.org; http://www.epa.gov/radon/; and www.westwindsornj.org
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