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Health Officials Stress Importance of Checking for Radon

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The month of January is about raising awareness about many different things, including one colorless, odorless gas.

January is National Radon Action Month. Radon gas is becoming a widespread issue in the U.S. affecting one in fifteen homes. The gas is a carcinogen that is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health officials say that it's important to educate people about the health risks of radon exposure.

"The radioactive gas can be inhaled by people living in the building. It gets into the lung and the radiation can have an effect on the cells of the lung and in the long term cause cancer," said Dr. Christopher Ryan, Medical Director of the Broome County Health Department.

"It is very prevalent in this area just because of how the geology is in Broome County. Studies have been done by New York State and the federal government and they have found very high levels in and around here," said Ronald Brink, groundwater specialist at the Broome County Health Department.

Officials also say that it's important to test your home for radon, and you can check with your local health department or home improvement store for radon test kits. If you have any other questions, visit www.radonmonth.org.