Free radon test kits available

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Piedmont Health District in Farmville has obtained a limited number of free radon test kits that can be picked up at the local Health Departments in Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway or Prince Edward. The kits come with instructions and a mailer for sending to the laboratory. The normal retail price for these kits would be about $15. Reduced price test kits for Virginia can also be ordered online at http://cgi.

Exposure to indoor radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer, and the leading cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. Exposure to radon may cause as many as 21,000 cases of lung cancer each year in the United States, including almost 700 cases per year in Virginia.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies radon risk areas as Zones 1, 2 or 3. Virginia has 46 counties classified as Zone 1 (high risk) including Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland and Nottoway; and 24 counties classified as Zone 2 (moderate risk) including Charlotte, Lunenburg and Prince Edward.

Testing your home is the only way to know for sure if an indoor radon problem exists. Indoor radon usually reaches its maximum concentration during the colder winter months. The lowest livable level of the structure should be tested because that is where the highest radon levels in the structure are usually found.

More radon information is available online at the Virginia Department of Health website at www.vdh. or on the EPA website at index.html.