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Radon testing kits available to state residents, businesses

Jan 15, 2013 - Staff

The only way to know how much of the potentially dangerous gas radon is present in homes or workplaces is to test for it, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

"Radon has no odor, no color or any other sensory reminder to make us think about it," said Steve Melia, radon program manager with the Wyoming Department of Health. "To know whether threatening levels of radon may be present in your house or office you must test for it."

Melia said radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep from the ground into buildings.

"It can get trapped inside, building in intensity and posing a long-term health risk of lung cancer," he said. "Exposure to radon has been linked to lung cancer in many people and can be thought of as a bit like a ticking time bomb."

Testing for radon is inexpensive. If elevated radon levels are found, radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors.

"The costs are not overwhelming and are comparable to many common home repairs," Melia said.

The Wyoming Radon Program is working with the Wyoming Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium to advance a statewide radon awareness initiative to increase residents' access to radon testing resources.The "Radon - What a Gas" effort is also supported by public health nursing,county extension offices and regional Wyoming Cancer Resource Services Programs.

These partners are making test kits and presentations available for media representatives, residents, community groups, school teachers, real estate agents, appraisers, architects, physicians and other health care providers. Architects, appraisers and REAs can earn up to four continuing education units; physicians and other health care providers can earn up to one continuing medical education unit.

Radon test kits are available for $7.95 at http://www.wyomingradon.org. Purchase one test kit and receive a second test kit free as long as supplies last.

For more information, contact the Wyoming Radon Program at 777-6015, steve.melia@wyo.gov, or visit www.wyomingradon.org online.

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