According to a state study, Oneida County is listed as an area testing high in levels of radon.
that's anything above the radioactive measurement of four Picocuries per liter.
"Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas," said Francis Zimmer, the Senior Public Health Sanitarian of the Oneida County Health Department.
Zimmer said it's common to find radon in the soil under your home. But problems arise if the gas comes up through basement.
"It comes in through the cracks and crevices, the joints, the sump pumps. It can build up to higher levels get caught," Zimmer said.
Like anything else, long term exposure can have dangerous effects on your health. Zimmer said having high levels of Radon in your home is comparable to having one X-Ray per day.
"So it's doing damage to your lungs and the problem is lung cancer," Zimmer said.
Yet, it's not detectable by smell, taste, or sight, only by a test. And if you live in the western part of Oneida County, the Healthy Neighborhood Program will visit your home and give you the product for free.
"We ask you a series of health and safety questions about the home and one of the things we talk about is radon gas. Now if you want, in return for doing this survey, we can give you free health and safety products," Zimmer said.
Here's how the test kit works--you peal the sticker off the top of the can, let it sit in your basement or first floor of your house for at least 48 hours, and then send it back in the mail.
If the levels come back low, sealing the basement could be an option. But for higher levels, Zimmer says it's recommended to hire a professional remediation firm. A costly, but necessary action.
"You gotta weigh the options. Are you more concerned about your health and that of your family or are you more concerned about the monetary portion," Zimmer said.
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