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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2017

Free kits offered by DHEC to help South Carolinians test homes for harmful radon gas

COLUMBIA, S.C. - January is National Radon Action Month, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today that it encourages all South Carolinians to test their homes for radon so they may find it, fix it, and potentially save a life.

A free radon test kit may be ordered from DHEC's website at www.scdhec.gov/radon or by calling 1-800-768-0362. Radon kits may also be purchased through the National Radon Program Services or ordered directly from radon testing companies. If your home is found to have high levels of radon, the level may be greatly reduced by relatively low-cost home repairs.

"Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air but can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings," said DHEC Radon Coordinator Richelle Tolton. "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nearly one in every 15 homes in the U.S. has elevated levels of radon. Because you can't see or smell radon, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes."

The EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer-related deaths each year. This estimate makes radon the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. With the vision of "eliminating avoidable radon-induced lung cancer in the United States," The National Radon Action Plan -- A Strategy for Saving Lives was released in November 2015.

"Elevated levels of radon have been found in homes in almost every county in South Carolina," said Tolton. "Two homes right next to each other can have different radon levels. Testing is the only way to determine if your home is trapping the gas."

To request a kit or for more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation, and radon-resistant new construction, visit www.scdhec.gov/radon.

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DHEC Media Relations
media@dhec.sc.gov
(803) 898-7769