This January, more than 30 county health departments in Ohio will be launching a joint public health campaign. The goal of the campaign is to urge Ohioans to test for radon in their homes with a free test kit.
“Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and has been found in many Ohio homes,” said Zach Watson, Communications Specialist for the Union County Health Department. “It is important the public health agencies of this state tackle the issue together with a unified message.”
The campaign hopes to help residents “see” radon which is an invisible gas. Images show radon as a burglar, a toxic gas, and even a scaly creature. Each piece focuses on the threat radon poses when left undetected in homes.
Watson said health departments will be placing ads on social media, television, websites and newspapers. This broad approach helps reach as many Ohioans as possible during January, which is National Radon Action Month.
“According to the EPA, central Ohio is at risk for high levels of Radon in the soil,” Watson said. “Because of that, we wanted to show that this is something that may likely be in your home, and it can do some serious damage to your health.”
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in nearly all soils. Radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. This makes testing the only way to determine if the deadly gas is in your home. Radon leaks into homes through cracks in the foundation, openings around sump pumps and drains, construction joints, and cracks in walls.
If a high level of radon is found in your home, the next step is to remove it by putting in a radon mitigation system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mitigation systems can cost between $800 and $2,500 with an average cost of $1,200.
To learn more about radon or to order a free test kit, please visit www.uchd.net/radon or www.epa.gov/radon.