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Passaic County Initiates Radon Awareness Program
October 27, 2016

For Immediate Release                                     Contact: Renee B. Allessio- Right to Know Project Specialist
                                                                                    Passaic County Department of Health

Passaic County Initiates Radon Awareness Program

The Passaic County Department of Health announced today that they will once again participate in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Radon Bureau’s special radon awareness program to promote testing for radon in homes.

In its “Radon Awareness Program” (RAP), the NJDEP Radon Bureau provides outreach assistance to promote radon testing in homes. For communities participating in RAP, the NJDEP provides the county health department with radon informational materials regarding how residents can reduce the risk to radon exposure. The Passaic County Department of Health wants to ensure that homeowners are aware of the need to test their homes and reduce radon levels where necessary.

The State of New Jersey has provided funds to the Passaic County Department of Health for a limited amount of free radon test kits.  Passaic County homeowners can reserve a kit by calling 973-225-3651. Test kits will be available on a first come first served basis.  Arrangements to pick up reserved radon test kits at the Passaic County Department of Health and a few designated municipal Health Departments will be made.

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium breaks down in the soil and rock formations. Small amounts of uranium are found in nearly all soils and rocks. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings around sump pumps, pipes and drains. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. Radon testing is easy and problems can be fixed.

The Passaic County Health Department is encouraging homeowners to test their homes for radon if they have never done so, and to re-test their homes if they have not tested in the past 5 years or believe radon concentrations may have changed, due to changes in air flow within the house, from new construction or other renovations, or due to new construction nearby that may have caused changes in the local geology .

High radon levels are associated with a greater risk of lung cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer resulting in approximately 21,000 deaths in the United States per year. It is recommended that homes be mitigated if they have radon concentrations of 4.0 pCi/L or more.

There is truly no “safe” level of radon since lung cancer can result from very low exposures to radon; however, the risk decreases as the radon concentration decreases. If your test result is less than 4.0 pCi/L you may want to discuss with mitigation companies whether the radon level can be brought down still further. In about half of the homes that have been mitigated in New Jersey, radon levels have been brought to less than 1.0 pCi/L.

In addition to test kits provided by Passaic County Department of Health, the NJDEP’s Radon Bureau at 800-648-0394 or www.njradon.org can provide a list of state certified companies that provide testing services or do-it yourself test kits, as well as companies that provide radon remediation services.

For more information on radon, contact Renee B. Allessio at 973-225-3651.