By Jake Palmateer
Radon is a naturally occurring, cancer-causing radioactive gas that one can’t be see, smell or taste, but is found in numerous homes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and is responsible for about 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
Otsego County has been identified as a high-radonrisk area by the EPA and the state Health Department. Any home, new or old, can have high radon levels. Two homes right next to each other can have vastly different levels.
The only way to know if a home is at risk is to test it. Testing involves opening a package, placing the detector in a designated area, and after a set number of days, sending the detector back to the lab for analysis.
Free radon test kits are available to Otsego County residents by calling the Otsego County Health Department at 547-7595.
Once detected, radon can be reduced in a home.