Free radon rest kits available

WATERTOWN, NY – January is National Radon Action Month and the Jefferson
County Public Health Service (JCPHS) would like to remind residents to test their homes for radon.

Once again, JCPHS will be offering free radon detectors to the first 100 people. The process is simply filling out a one page form, following the directions for testing, and mailing the detector to the lab in the postage paid envelope.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 21,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer each year. Radon is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas, and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Approximately 26% of homes tested in Jefferson County have radon levels of >=4 pCi/L which is the EPA’s “action” limit and 19% of Jefferson County homes with 2-<4pCi/L which the EPA suggests that homeowners “consider action”. Radon is
naturally occurring, and disperses in outdoor air, but it can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. Homeowners can test their homes at any time; however, it is best to do so during the heating season when homes typically let in less outdoor air.

Every home should be tested initially and again every 5 years, after major renovations, weatherization or installation of a radon mitigation system. You can track radon testing and levels in Jefferson County using the NYS Department’s Radon Indicator at

“Radon testing is easy and is the only way to know if there is radon in your home. If you find your home has radon, use a qualified radon mitigation contractor to make sure it is done correctly, then retest”, said Ginger Hall, Director of JCPHS.

You can find a list of certified contractors at the NYS Department of Health website. Many homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs. If you are building a new home, ask for radon-resistant construction features then test after your home is finished.

For more information about Radon, go to