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January 7, 2013

City Encourages Chicagoans to Test Homes for Radon

January is National Radon Action Month

National Radon Action Month LogoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Quenjana Adams

quenjana.adams@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO - In recognition of January as National Radon Action Month, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) asks Chicagoans to test their homes for harmful levels of radon, a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that can lead to death if unchecked.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nearly one of every 15 homes in the U.S. has elevated radon levels. 

"Radon kills more than 20,000 Americans each year," said Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  "Many of these deaths are preventable thanks to home testing.  We call on every Chicagoan to test their home in order to help protect themselves and their families."

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils.  It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into homes through cracks and other holes in the foundation.  Radon can then be trapped inside the home, where it can build up. Any home is susceptible to radon, including new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes and homes with or without basements.

"Low cost test-kits are available at stores throughout the city and online," Commissioner Choucair continued.  "In addition, CDPH provides free home inspections. Together we can stop radon and make our city healthier for all."

Chicago residents interested in information on limited testing available through CDPH can call (312)747-5323.

Improving the health and well-being of all Chicagoans by creating safer and healthier homes is a top 12 priority in CDPH's citywide health agenda, Healthy Chicago.  Healthy Chicago sets an ambitious sense of purpose for Chicago and engages the city with bold action and goals to make Chicago the healthiest city in the nation.

For more information on CDPH and Healthy Chicago, visit www.CityOfChicago.org/Health.