Medical Monday: January is Radon Awareness Month


January is Radon Awareness Month, and with it claiming as many as 21,000 lives per year through lung cancer, it’s no wonder doctors warn about the dangers of this gas going undetected.

Radon is an underground gas that like heat, rises, and can get trapped in houses and buildings, but the danger isn’t in the air, but in the lowest levels of a building, like a basement floor.

The only way to know the level of radon in your home, is to test for it. Kits can be bought at home improvement stores, hardware stores, and online. Once set up, if the test reads a radon level of 4 or more, it’s time to take action.

Due to radon’s characteristics, doctors at Mercy Medical warn it’s better to test for it and be safe, than sorry.

“It’s something that you can’t taste, you can’t feel it, you can’t see it, so really if you don’t test your home, you don’t know what your levels are,” says Matt Robins, Mercy Medical Specialist.

According to the Iowa Department of Health, radon levels in Iowa have risen over the years. For Woodbury County, it’s predicted that 55% of homes have a radon level of a 4 or more, 68% in Monona County, 73% in Thurston County, and 74% in Plymouth County.

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