More than 800 Georgians die annually as a result of radon
Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that is naturally released from rocky soils, common in northern Georgia counties, and enters buildings through small cracks, which can build to dangerous levels, eventually causing health concerns like lung cancer, which radon is the second-leading cause of, behind cigarettes. Radon kills nearly 21,000 people per year in the US, with more than 800 of them in Georgia.
Georgia residents can now visit any public library in the state to checkout a free radon testing kit with their library card, including the Airthings Corentium Home radon monitor, to evaluate radon levels easily and accurately in their living spaces, which tend to be the highest during the winter and colder months. The Electronic Radon Monitor Loan Program is a public health initiative from the University of Georgia Extension and the Georgia Public Library Service.
According to a press release from the Georgia Public Library Service, checking out a monitor with their library card, patrons can easily evaluate the radon levels in their living spaces, and determine if they are in danger. Radon kills nearly 21,000 people each year, more than 800 of them in Georgia. Radon can affect any home, regardless of construction or age. If found, radon can be fixed by installing a radon mitigation system.
“We’re thrilled to see these monitors arriving at libraries around the state,” said Derek Cooper, radon educator at the University of Georgia. “Each has the potential to be used hundreds of times and could prevent countless cases of lung cancer. The key to knowing your home is radon safe is to test.”
According to the press release, “Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It occurs naturally when uranium breaks down to form radon. Uranium is often found in high concentrations in granite rocky soils, as are common in northern Georgia counties. As radon is released into the soil, it can enter buildings through the foundation and well water, eventually building to dangerous levels.”
Each radon kit contains two QR codes: one leads patrons to an instructional video, while the other directs patrons to a website to submit their results. If patrons report their findings to the UGA Extension, the data will be used in scientific research and to raise awareness of radon levels in Georgia.
In addition to the radon monitor loan program, the UGA Radon Program will also travel to libraries around the state to host educational programs about radon safety and testing.
The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grants Program.
The Azalea Library System serves the Walton County Area. The local libraries in the Azalea Library System are:
Monroe-Walton County Library
O’Kelly Library System, Loganville
Stanton Memorial Library, Social Circle
Walnut Grove Library
More information on the free radon testing through local library systems is available HERE.