HHSA & Environmental Management

Carla Hass

(530) 621-4609

(PLACERVILLE, CA) – January is National Radon Action Month and the cold winter months are the best time to test for this radioactive gas. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is offering free test kits to households in California throughout the month of January, or until supplies run out.

Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless, and tasteless radioactive gas, which results from the decay of uranium or thorium naturally present in soil and bedrock. Low levels of uranium occur widely in Earth's crust and it can be found in all 50 states. Radon gas enters a house the same way air and other soil gases enter: from the soil around and under the home and through cracks in the foundation, floor or walls; hollow­ block walls; and openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. Radon has been detected in new and old homes, with and without basements. Homes with high radon levels can be fixed with simple and well-established venting techniques, reducing levels in the home by up to 99%.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Exposure to elevated levels of radon increases the risk of lung cancer; the longer the exposure, the greater the risk. Because it cannot be seen or smelled, the only way to determine the radon level in a home is to test for its presence.

“Testing for radon in your home is a simple process,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Taking steps for remediation, if needed, can be critical for indoor air quality, and improving the safety of your home.”

The kits are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s State Indoor Radon Grant fund and are limited to one free test kit per household. The aggregated information from the test results will be used to update statewide Radon Potential Maps, which show the likelihood of radon in a specific region.

Limited test kits are available at Environmental Management’s South Lake Tahoe office. Please call (530) 573-3450 for availability. Test kits can also be ordered through the CDPH Indoor Radon Program webpage or by calling the program toll-free at 1-800-745-7236. Options for remediation of radon in the home are available at the CDPH Indoor Radon Program.

Additional information about National Radon Action Month is available on the EPA National Radon Action Month website.

Reference Links:

Department of Conservation Indoor Radon Map:

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