A coalition of health departments in the state is asking you to take a test while you wait out winter in your home. January is “National Radon Action Month” and Iowa AIR Coalition co-ordinator Cindy Shubatt says they’re asking all Iowans to test for radon. She says radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that you can’t see or smell. Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in the soil. Shubatt says January is a good time to get the testing done. She says our homes are closed up more in the winter and that gives a more realistic idea of the exposure of radon. Shubatt says the test is inexpensive and easy. She says they’re five-dollar test kits which are charcoal activated. The kits have to sit for at least three days and can sit for as many as seven. Shubatt works in Linn County, which is one of 52 counties that’re part of the coalition. She says many of the counties have the test kits available. She says some advertise and send out the kits, while others advertise an ask you to send to Linn County for a test kit. If you can’t get a kit from your county, Shubatt says you can find one with a phone call. You can call the Linn County Radon office at 800-206-7818, or call the Iowa Department of Public Health at 1-800-383-5992. Shubatt says lung cancer cause by radon gas claims about 21-thousand lives each year in the U-S.
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