Simmons Urges Lehigh Valley Residents to Test Homes for Radon
1/7/2016
HARRISBURG – Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today urged all Lehigh Valley residents to test their homes for radon, a deadly radioactive gas that’s the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States. Residents are also urged to take action to reduce radon levels in their homes if they are high.

“January is Radon Action Month, and a great time to conduct a test,” said Simmons. “Testing is the only way to know if a home, school, workplace or other structure has elevated concentrations of radon.”

Simmons noted that free radon testing kits can be obtained through the American Lung Association. Residents can check the availability of the free kits in their area at www.lunginfo.org/freeradonkit.

Test kits can also be purchased at most hardware or home improvement stores at an average cost of $15 to $25 per test.

If residents are uncomfortable doing the testing they can hire a state-certified radon tester, or if they are selling their home and want a radon test, it is best to hire a certified tester. The cost of a mitigation system typically ranges around $1,000.

Pennsylvania law requires all radon service providers, such as radon testers, radon mitigators and radon laboratories to be certified by DEP. The list of Pennsylvania-certified radon service providers is updated monthly and available on DEP’s website. Residents can also obtain a hard copy of the directory or verify a company’s certification by calling 1-800-23RADON.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets the “action level” for radon at 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. Residents with levels at or above that figure should take steps to lower them.

In 2014, the highest radon level ever recorded in the U.S. was found in a home in Lehigh County. The concentration measured was 3,715 pCi/L, more than 900 times EPA’s action level of 4 pCi/L. DEP recommended the owners vacate their home until it could be remediated to safe levels.

For more information about radon testing or obtaining a test kit, call one of Simmons’ district offices or visit DEP’s website at dep.pa.gov/radon.

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474
abriggs@pahousegop.com
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