EAST WHITELAND TWP, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in partnership with the American Lung Association of Pennsylvania (ALAPA), encourages Pennsylvanians to test their home for radon.
For over 20 years, DEP has been using a Targeted Radon Survey campaign to identify municipalities for radon outreach in an effort to increase public awareness and radon testing based on prior data and/or geologic potential for radon occurrence. East Whiteland Township in Chester County was among this year’s targeted municipalities.
“Pennsylvania’s geology is the reason 40 percent of the homes in our commonwealth have more radon than the federally recommended guideline,” said DEP Regional Director Pat Patterson. “Doing a simple radon test is one the easiest and more practical actions Pennsylvanians can take to keep their homes safe and families healthy.”
Radon gas results from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. It is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless radioactive gas that enters homes from the ground and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
As part of its targeted campaign, DEP’s Bureau of Radiation Protection has awarded a grant to the ALAPA and is working with them to offer a limited number of free radon test kits to residents in East Whiteland Township. Those living in East Whiteland Township that would like a free radon test kit from the ALAPA should visit www.lungradonkits.org/pa. A test kit from a DEP certified laboratory will then be mailed within the next several weeks. All instructions and return postage are included, as is analysis by the laboratory and reporting of results.
Those not living in a targeted municipality are still strongly encouraged to test for radon. Kits are available at hardware stores and are simple to use, requiring only that the cannister be opened, placed in the basement for a few days, and then mailed to a lab. Alternatively, you can hire a certified radon tester. Although a radon test can be done any time of year, winter is ideal because doors and windows are closed, providing more accurate results. A video on the DEP website provides radon testing instructions.
For more information on radon, visit www.dep.pa.gov/radon, including a list of DEP-certified professional radon testers, mitigators, and laboratories.
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