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Madison County raising awareness about the dangers of radon

An at-home radon test kit
An at-home radon test kit

January is Radon Action Month, and Madison County is taking steps to protect neighbors from the harmful gas.

Keegan Richie from the Madison County Health Department said about 40 percent of houses in the county may have elevated levels of radon, and he said winter is the perfect time for homeowners to test.

Madison County Health Department

"That radon gas that gets released in the soil is now trapped more securely inside your house with all those windows and doors being shut for most of the time,” he said.

Radon comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks, and water and is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers. Richie said you can’t see, smell, or taste radon gas, and it can affect any home, whether it’s one year old or 100 years old.
"Homes are actually sealed up tighter than ever before, so that radon gas, which would escape through cracks or loose seals and windows and doors is actually being secured and held inside our homes," Richie said.

Richie said testing is the only way to know if a house has elevated levels of radon, so Madison County is offering neighbors free options, including giving out test kits while supplies last, or offering complete “Healthy Homes” checkups.

If tests show elevated levels, the county can help homeowners find mitigation specialists to fix the problem.

To get a radon test or to learn more about Madison County’s efforts to fight radon, call (315) 366-2526 or click here.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.