Alerting Neighbors of Possible Radon in Luzerne County

FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- If you live in Fairview Township in Mountain Top you may have received a letter from the DEP and the American Lung Association that says several homes in the area had high readings of radon.

Chris Kennedy got the letter.

"Glanced through it a little bit, but soon as I started seeing about the radon issue. We already had our problem taken care of. We have a radon mitigation system installed before we moved into the house," said Kennedy.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that the environmental protection agency believes may cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year in the U.S.

"If it's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. then, yeah, that's something to be concerned about especially if you have young children," said Kennedy.

Newswatch 16 spoke with DEP spokesperson Colleen Connolly about the letter.

"It's an awareness campaign sent out by DEP and the American Lung Association. It's letting residents of Fairview Township, that part of Mountain Top know that there are two homes in that area that tested for high levels of Radon. It's not to say that all the homes that got letters have high levels of radon, that's not the case," said Connolly.

Connolly says our area is prone to having elevated radon levels in homes.

"It's the second highest in the United States almost. It's our geological rock formation. Radon is caused by the breakdown of Uranium. Pennslyvania has shale and sandstone as its formation so it makes it easier for radon to appear," said Connolly.

She says people who received the letter should follow the instructions in it to get a free kit to test the radon levels in your home.

When you've completed the test, you send it to the DEP.

If you didn't receive a letter and would like to test for radon in your home you can buy a kit at most hardware stores.

The DEP says if your home uses a well for water, they suggest you test that as well.

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