Residents urged to test homes for radon

Soil in central Ohio can have high levels of radon gas. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and it can seep into homes. To help protect residents, Marion Public Health offers homeowners free test kits. These easy-to-use home test kits are available at

“Winter is the best time to test your home,” said Marion Public Health Environmental Health Director, Tyler Pigman. “During these colder months, our homes are closed up, trapping gases inside and providing more accurate radon readings.” Radon gas results from the decay of naturally occurring uranium found in nearly all soils. Radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, making testing the only way to determine if it is in your home. Radon can leak into homes through cracks in foundations, openings around sump pumps and drains, construction joints and cracks in walls.

It is estimated that nearly one home in every 15 in the U.S. has an elevated radon level. Elevated levels have been found in all areas of the country, including central Ohio. Radon is measure in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and the EPA has identified a 4 pCi/L as a recommended action level.
“Marion County has been designated as a zone one area on the EPA’s radon map,” Pigman said. “This means the EPA predicts that homes within our area could have high radon levels. Therefore, it is important all homeowners in our area test for radon gas.”

According to the University of Toledo’s Ohio Radon Information System, 1,308 Marion County homes have been tested for radon. The maximum reading for Marion County was 67.1 pCi/L, the minimum Marion County reading was a 0.1 pCi/L, with an average reading of 5.5 pCi/L.

If your home registers high levels of radon, it can be removed from your home through a variety of mitigation systems. According to the EPA, mitigation systems can cost between $600 and $1500. More information on radon mitigation can be found at by clicking on the “Publications and Resources link” and viewing the EPA publication Consumers’s Guide to Radon.

To get a free test kit, homeowners can log onto After completing a short online form, a free test kit will be mailed within a few weeks.

Radon test kits are easy to use. Place the small, non-obtrusive test kit in the lowest level of the home for three to seven days. Then, seal the kit and mail it to the certified laboratory for analysis. Confidential results are available online a few days later or can be mailed to the homeowner in approximately two weeks.

For more information contact Van Creasap at 740-692-9114 at Marion Public Health or visit or

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