Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning announced that January has been designated Radon Action Month by Hopewell Township, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Radon Program.
In announcing Radon Action Month, the Mayor said, “Radon is a serious health risk. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. But because radon is invisible and odorless it is easy to ignore or be unaware of this potential hazard in our own homes.”
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium and radium break down in the soil and rock formations. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings around pumps, pipes, and drains.
“A significant number of homes in Hopewell Township are predicted to be above the acceptable limits for radon,” the Mayor added. “We would like to see as many homes tested as possible to reduce the radon risk for our residents.”
Fortunately, testing for radon is simple and the Hopewell Township Health Department will be providing free radon test kits to support this effort. Residents should call 609-537-0257 to arrange an appointment to pick up a kit, while supplies last. Do-it-yourself home testing kits are also available at hardware and home improvement stores.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The average US household level is 1.3 pCi/L.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the NJ DEP recommend that action be taken to reduce radon levels if the level in the home is greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L. If testing shows elevated radon levels, a radon mitigation system can be easily installed, and at a cost similar to that of other home repairs.
Exposure to high levels of radon is easily preventable. For more information, contact the Hopewell Township Health Department at (609) 537-0257 or the NJ DEP Radon Program at (800) 648-0394 or visit www.njradon.org.