radon testing 010721CHICAGO – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) emphasizes the importance of early detection of radon and encourages residents to test their homes during Radon Action Month.

“The pandemic and the onset of winter weather mean people are spending more time at home, so it’s especially important to be aware of the potential risks of radon exposure,” Munoz said. “Over 1,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with radon-related lung cancer each year, and a simple at-home test can help keep you and your family healthy.”

Radon gas is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the nation, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Statistics show radon has been found in nearly 40% of homes tested in Illinois. Cities located in the central and northern regions are shown to have higher levels of radon in the soil.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. This odorless, colorless, tasteless gas comes from the natural breakdown of the soil, and it enters buildings through small cracks in the foundation, sump pits, crawl spaces, floor drains and more. If not properly mitigated, radon gas can reach drastically high levels and cause major health concerns.   

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois are hosting two statewide contests that urge students to use their creative talents to promote radon awareness. High school students are invited to submit a 30-second commercial style video, and middle school students can design a poster to urge residents to test their homes for radon. For more information and to enter, click here

“This is a chance to give students an opportunity to show their artistic ability while raising awareness of the risks of radon exposure,” Munoz said.

For more information about radon, visit www.radon.illinois.gov. Information is also available through IEMA’s Radon Hotline at 800-325-1245.