Home radon test kits available

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, January 7, 2016

As the turning of the seasons brings colder weather to North Carolina, and families close windows to keep warm, it is an excellent time to make plans for radon testing in your home.

Radon is the odorless, colorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The effects upon the families it touches can be just as devastating as lung cancer caused by smoking tobacco, according to the Davie County Health Department.

Each year upwards to 22,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer. Roughly 54 percent of those diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer are expected to live no more than five years after diagnosis.

The health department is partnering with the NC Radon program to provide free short-term radon test kits.  A limited supply of kits are being made available Jan. 4-8 from 9-11:30 a.m. and Jan. 11-15 from 2-4:30 p.m. at 210 Hospital St., Mocksville.

Approximately 15,000 kits are being distributed statewide. Only one kit per home is needed to determine if it has a high level.  The N.C. Radon Program website, www.ncradon.org, will have a list of all 110 participating organizations across North Carolina. The website will also have kits available. Once the supply of free kits have been exhausted, visit the website for a kit at a reduced cost of $6.

Lowering the radon levels in a home lower the risk of lung cancer.

The website also contains a new mobile application.  Meant to help real estate brokers in North Carolina, the mobile application will assist the user in determining how many tests have been conducted within a zip code as well as the highest radon level recorded in that zip code.  The user of the APP will also be able to locate a certified professional to assist them in testing or fixing the radon issue in their home.

The cost of lowering radon levels in a home averages to about $1,500. The N.C. Radon Protection Section sought help for families that might struggle to meet that expense. The Self Help Credit Union stepped up and created a loan program specifically for radon mitigation.  North Carolina homeowners who meet federal poverty criteria may be eligible for forgivable loans from local programs. A link to more information is available on the NC Radon Program web page.   

“Lung cancer can strike anyone, even a nonsmoker,” said Davie Health Director, Suzanne Wright. “Test your home for radon and lower your family’s risk of lung cancer.”