The Environmental Health Division of the Henry and Stark County Health
Departments are calling attention to the fact that radon is the
second-leading cause of lung cancer overall and the leading cause of lung
cancer for non-smokers.
Dorothy David, Health Department Director of Environmental Health
Services, notes, "It really doesn't matter where you live in Illinois or
what type of home you live in, because we've seen excessive radon in every
county in Illinois, and in every type of home - old, new, with basements,
with a crawlspace or on a slab."
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that comes
from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. It
can enter homes and buildings through small cracks in the foundation, sump
pumps or soil in crawlspaces.
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's
because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. \
The State of Illinois has enacted the Illinois Radon Awareness Act.
According to this law, anyone buying a home, condominium or other
residential property in Illinois must be provided with information about
indoor radon exposure and the fact that radon is the leading cause of lung
cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause overall.
Since radon gas is undetectable, specialized radon detectors must be
used to measure the amount of radon gas present in the air. You can
purchase test kits from your local home improvement, hardware store, or home
extension office. You may also call the Illinois Emergency Management
Agency (IEMA) Division of Nuclear Safety Radon Program at 1-800-325-1245 for
a list of laboratories that sell radon kits or visit their website at
The Health Department and state officials encourage anyone who discovers
their home has elevated levels of radon to contact a licensed radon
mitigation professional to correct the problem. Depending on the home,
radon mitigation can cost between $800-$1200. IEMA also has a list of
licensed radon reduction contractors who can fix your radon problem.
For more information on radon you can visit the our website at
www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County
Health Departments. Radon information is also available through IEMA at
their hotline number and at their website.