Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County is celebrating National Radon Action Month by offering free radon test kits on a first come first served basis to Schuyler residents in January. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of uranium. Radon is odorless, colorless and can only be detected with special tests like the ones being offered by Cooperative Extension. Next to smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US and should not be ignored.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies have identified Schuyler County as an area with recorded high radon levels and suggest homeowners test for radon. If your test results show radon levels higher than 4 picocuries per 1 liter (pci/L) of air it is suggested that you look at mitigation. Mitigation techniques can cost between $800- $2,500 depending on your home with the most effective consisting of piping and fans. When looking for a contractor it is important that they are trained in radon mitigation because if done improperly, it could actually increase the amount of radon in your home.
To pick up your free test kit, stop by Cooperative Extension located in the Human Services Complex, 323 Owego Street, Montour Falls. For more information call Jenna Hicks, Environmental Science Educator at 535-7161.