Radon is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. (Courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency)
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s indoor environment program is offering six free radon training courses starting in December for homeowners, home builders, real estate agents, inspectors and others involved in the construction of new homes, according to a press release from the department.
The first course is Dec. 28. Additional courses are available through mid-February.
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that can build up in homes over time. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Idaho, after smoking, according to the release. Radon forms from natural deposits of uranium and radium in soils and enters homes and buildings through gaps and cracks in crawl spaces and foundations. Two out of every five homes tested in Idaho have higher-than-recommended radon levels, according to the release.
“Because you can’t see, taste, or smell radon, people may not realize they have high radon levels in their homes or be aware of the health effects,” said Brigitta Gruenberg, environmental health program manager. “The only way to know if you have radon in your home is to do a simple test. Testing is especially important during the pandemic because many people are now working from home, increasing the amount of time they may be exposed to radon.”
The two-hour, interactive course explains what radon is, how it enters a home and what can be done to help prevent exposure and reduce the risk of lung cancer-related deaths in Idaho, according to the release. The course will cover mitigation strategies that can be done when a house is being built, what products are needed, where to find them and how to install them.
“A radon mitigation system is much easier and less expensive to install during construction than after the home is built,” Gruenberg said.
Register for the training at www.radonidaho.org.
For information about testing your home or where to find a test kit, call the Idaho Careline at 2-1-1 or visit www.radonidaho.org.
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