A Threat We Can’t See or Smell
You know the problem with trouble? You don’t always see it coming.
When you think about your health, you can always come up quickly with things you can do keep yourself out of medical trouble. Exercise. Eat smaller portions. Quit drinking soda. And so on.
This month the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is warning residents about a sign of medical trouble that hides in plain sight. It’s odorless and invisible. It’s radon.
Radon is the number one cause of cancer after smoking. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it kills more than 21,000 Americans every year, and NMDOH is encouraging New Mexicans, especially smokers and former smokers, to test their homes for radon.
Breathing in radon can increase the risk of lung cancer. This risk is much higher when a person is exposed to radon and also smokes. This is why it’s especially important for current and former smokers to test their homes for it.
Radon testing is easiest and most effective in winter when we tend to keep our door and windows shut in order to stay warm, and it doesn’t matter if home is old or new, the gas can still build up without you suspecting a thing. The only way to know if radon gas is seeping into your home is by testing for it. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few minutes.
Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores and are typically priced under $25. However, New Mexico residents can take advantage of a discount offered through the state Environment Department, which offers test kits for only $7. You just follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement of the device and where to send the device after the test to get your reading.
If you do have a radon problem in your home, the EPA says radon reduction systems work, and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
Discounted radon testing kits can be requested online using the “New Mexico Radon Program” state discount at the Doctor Home Air website. NMDOH provides downloadable resources about radon on its Environmental Public Health Tracking website. If your test shows evidence of radon gas at levels of health concern in your home, call the Environment Department at (505) 476-8608 to get information about ways you can reduce radon gas in your home and minimize your exposure.
We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.
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