BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – As many as 6 in 10 homes in Steuben County may have dangerous radon levels while almost 4 in 10 homes in Schuyler and Yates counties may have high levels of radon, officials said.
Steuben County Public Health and neighboring county officials are urging residents to take free and easy steps to test their homes for the natural gas radon — the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in the U.S.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Steuben County,” said county Public Health Director Darlene Smith. “We’re hoping to use Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November as a way to boost radon testing and prevent unnecessary deaths.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. Radon is the result of the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils which seeps into buildings through cracks and other holes in foundations.
Any home could have a radon problem, including new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements, the EPA reports.
“Testing your home for radon is easy and free for Steuben, Schuyler, and Yates residents through a grant held by the local health departments,” Smith said. “Please encourage others to learn and test their homes for radon. Let us all work together to reduce the risks of lung cancer this November.”
For more information, visit Steuben County Public Health online at www.steubencony.org/publichealth, www.facebook.com/scnypublichealth, or https://www.instagram.com/steubenpublichealth/.