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Governor Sununu and DHHS Recognize January as National Radon Action Month in the Granite State
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Issued by the Division of Public Health Services
Publish Date:
January 30, 2020

Concord, NH – Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. In recognition of National Radon Action Month this January, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages residents to test their homes and private wells for radon. In the Granite State, 30 percent of homes report elevated levels of this naturally occurring gas.

“Any home in New Hampshire can have an elevated level of radon,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “The best way for people to know if they have radon in their homes or wells is to perform a test. The good news is that testing for radon is easy and inexpensive.”

Governor Sununu has issued a proclamation declaring January 2020 as Radon Action Month in the State of New Hampshire. The DHHS Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is increasing awareness of the radioactive gas that occurs naturally as a result of the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock, including granite. Radon has no color, taste, or odor, and can enter homes through openings in foundation floors or walls, and can be present in private well water.

“Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is commonly found in homes and well water throughout New Hampshire,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “Reducing radon levels can significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer. We recommend that everybody test for radon in their homes every five years, and well water every 3-5 years. If radon levels are elevated, there are steps people can take to reduce their exposure and minimize health risks.”

The EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon in homes that have an airborne radon level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services recommends that homeowners consider reducing radon in water when the level is between 2,000 - 10,000 pCi/L and the airborne radon level in the home is 4pCi/L or more.

Testing for radon levels is the first step and homeowners can install a radon reduction system to treat high levels of radon. Radon test kits can be purchased at most hardware stores and online. Residents can test for radon in their water by contacting the DHPS Public Health Laboratories at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/lab/water-lab/ or a private water testing laboratory.

Governor Sununu’s Proclamation is available at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/radon/.

For more information about radon, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/radon/ or call 1-800-897-5323. The Environmental Protection Agency’s radon website is www.epa.gov/radon.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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