High radon levels in Idaho can put your health at risk – test your home now

radon_20180108

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare began monitoring radon test results over 20 years ago. Since then, IDHW has discovered nearly 40 percent of Idaho homes tested for radon have higher than recommended levels of the naturally occurring radioactive gas. High radon levels have been found in homes in every Idaho county.

“The good news is that it is easy and inexpensive for Idaho homeowners to test their home for radon levels,” said Colby Adams, environmental health director for IDHW’s Division of Public Health. “Because winter is the best time to test, January is national Radon Action Month. Radon test kits are just $9.95, so Idaho homeowners can find out if their home has high radon levels and take steps to fix a problem to protect themselves and their family.”

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas formed from natural deposits of uranium and radium in Idaho soils. Radon is drawn into homes and buildings through gaps and cracks in crawlspaces and foundations. High levels of radon in your home can expose you and your family to radiation. This radiation can damage your lungs and increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes 21,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

The only way to know if your home has high levels of radon is to test for it. Testing is easy, requiring opening a package and placing a small measuring device in your home for several days. The kit is then mailed to a lab for processing with results returned to the homeowner. Visit www.radonidaho.org to order a radon test kit with simple instructions for $9.95. The cost for the test covers shipping, handling, and test results. You can also call the Idaho CareLine at 2-1-1 for more information.

Segment of homes with unsafe radon levels in select Idaho zip codes
City Zip Code % of Tested Homes
with Unsafe Levels
Blackfoot 83221 45%
Boise 83702 38%
Challis 83226 59%
Coeur d’Alene 83815 62%
Idaho Falls 83401 43%
McCall 83638 32%
Mountain Home 83647 49%
Orofino 83544 31%
Pocatello 83202 53%
Rexburg 83440 54%
Salmon 83467 54%
Sun Valley 83340 60%

Data Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, 1990-2017

The Radon Program is part of the Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health. Learn more and view radon levels in your zip code at www.radonidaho.org

Media Contact:

Chris Smith

Public Information Officer

Media Line: (208) 334-0668

More questions & answers about radon in Idaho from the DHW blog: https://dhwblog.com/2018/01/09/has-your-home-been-tested-for-radon-now-is-a-great-time-to-do-it/

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