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It’s a threat you can’t see, kills 21,000 Americans each year, and it could be in your home right now. The only way to find out, is to test for it.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. Radon is an odorless, invisible and tasteless gas released in rock, soil and water and it can build up to dangerous levels in your home, whether new or old, well-sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement. It is usually harmless outdoors, but when the gas is trapped in a building or home, it can be a health hazard. Unfortunately, many people tend to ignore that it might exist at high levels in their home. The truth is – radon has been found in every state and vary from home to home even in the same neighborhood. You could have a significantly different level than even your neighbor next door.

Breathing radon can increase your risk of lung cancer. In fact, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause among smokers. Children are more sensitive to radon because their lungs are smaller and their respiratory rates are twice as high. By the age of 10, a child receives twice the lung dose of an adult who’s been exposed to radon for the same length of time. If you are a smoker and you have a high concentration of radon in your home, you are at an even greater risk. The good news is the risk of lung cancer from radon is the easiest to avoid.

Testing radon levels in quick, easy, and affordable, and prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem.

Testing for Radon
The best time to test for radon is during the colder months when the windows and doors are closed. Where can you get a kit? Some state radon offices, especially during National Radon Month, may offer kits for free or at a discount. Most home improvement and hardware stores sell test kits for under $25 or a kit can be ordered online. Testing is as easy as opening a package, following the directions for where to place the kit, and sending it to the company indicated on the package to receive your test results. Most testing last between 2 and 7 days. You can also hire a qualified radon tester.

Fixing High Radon Levels
If the test results show your home has high radon, don’t panic; the problem can be fixed. Consult an EPA-qualified or state-certified radon contractor who can evaluate the problem and determine the right solution. To find qualified contractors in your area, click here. Repairs focus on steps to keep radon from coming into your home, including sealing cracks in floors and walls to changing the flow of air into the home. If you are remodeling or building a new home, installing a simple ventilation system can prevent radon gas from seeping in.

Don’t delay; take action today! And remember, radon testing should not be a one-time thing. The ground under your home can always shift, so it is important to have a radon test at least every five years or after any remodel or addition to your home.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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