January marks National Radon Action Month, and the Jackson County Department of Public Health is raising awareness about the risks of radon in homes. Approximately 1 in 15 U.S. homes have high radon levels, a significant health concern as it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer, resulting in over 20,000 annual deaths. Even more concerning, smokers face a tenfold increase in lung cancer risk with high radon exposure.
Radon, a natural gas found in North Carolina’s rocks and soil, accumulates invisibly in homes, making detection difficult without testing. The Surgeon General recommends testing all homes for radon. Simple and affordable home radon tests can be conducted, allowing homeowners to take corrective measures if high levels are found, with licensed radon mitigation contractors available for assistance.
The NC Radon Program advises Jackson County residents to test indoor air and private well water for radon, especially in areas prone to elevated radionuclide levels in well water.