Wyoming Families Should Consider Radon Testing for Homes

January 4, 2017

Wyoming families should consider testing the radon levels found in their homes to see if a potential health risk exists, as recommended by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless and dangerous gas found in homes, especially older structures. Radon naturally occurs as a radioactive gas released from the element radium and is found in rocks, soil and water.

“As radon naturally degrades, it can seep up into your home, get trapped inside, and build in intensity,” said Julie Tarbuck, Wyoming Integrated Cancer Services Program outreach and education supervisor. “All homes have radon; however, with certain levels of radon, health concerns exist.”

“Radon is recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer,” Tarbuck said. “The good news is exposure to radon is easily preventable with testing and modifications to your home.”

An elevated level of radon is considered anything over 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air) and should be fixed, while anything below 2pCi/L is considered within normal limits. Tarbuck said a lower level doesn’t require immediate attention, but may eventually cause health concerns with prolonged exposure.

The Wyoming Integrated Cancer Services Program has low-cost radon test kits available for individuals and families to purchase, as well as resources for contractors, real estate agents and home buyers. For more information or to obtain a radon test kit, please visit www.health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/cancer/radon online or call 307-777-3480.