January is Radon Action Month - Free Test Kits Available through Health Department
During the month of January 2020, the Glastonbury Health Department has a limited number of radon in air test kits available for no cost to residents. Health Department staff will assist homeowners by visiting the home to place the kit in the most appropriate location, and then collect it several days later. Participants in this no-cost testing opportunity must schedule a time for Health Department staff to place and collect kits. No kits will be provided to homeowners directly.
Appointment Contact Information
Please call the Health Department at (860) 652-7534 with questions, or to schedule an appointment for your test kit.
What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert. Because radon is a gas, it moves freely in the airspaces between rocks and in soils. It becomes a human health concern when it leaks from the underlying soil into homes and other buildings. If it builds up to high concentrations in indoor air, radon and its decay products can be inhaled and cause lung cancer. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much radon is present.
Exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States. Radon also substantially increases the lung cancer risk for smokers. The EPA estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.
What is the "acceptable" level of radon in air?
The EPA states that any radon exposure carries some risk; no level of radon exposure is always safe. However, the EPA recommends homes be fixed if an occupant's long-term exposure will average 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
Radon levels are known to be affected by the time of day, varying as the temperature changes during the day. They are also affected by the seasons, generally rising in the winter, making winter the best time of year to test your home.
What about radon in water?
Radon in the water can enter the air in your home when you use water for household activities such as showering, washing clothes and cooking. For every 10,000 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of radon in your water, it is estimated that 1 pCi/L is added to your radon in the air.
Ingestion of radon in water presents a risk for developing stomach and other internal organ cancers. However this risk is lower than the risk of developing lung cancer from radon released to the air from tap water. If you are interested in testing your water for radon, call your water treatment professional, or refer to the list of nearby water treatment professionals at https://www.glastonbury-ct.gov/home/showdocument?id=27466
How often should I test my home?
A radon test should be done when buying a home, after doing major renovations, every two years if there is a mitigation system installed or every five (5) years otherwise. Most home improvement stores and hardware stores have radon test kits for sale.