BALTIMORE (January 10, 2022) — January is Radon Gas Awareness Month and the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Radiological Health Program has an array of activities planned to educate state residents about the dangers of the poisonous gas and the need to test their residences for its presence.
“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers,” Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said. “It’s important for people to test their homes now, in the coldest time of the year, when radon levels can build to unhealthy levels when doors and windows are kept closed. But the other times of the year can produce some elevated test results also.”
MDE’s radon test kit link is receiving wide circulation this month with posts on the websites of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, American Lung Association, and Maryland Association of County Health Directors. The websites of Howard, Frederick, Dorchester, Allegany, Caroline, Carroll, Somerset, Talbot and Washington counties also will post the test kit link. MDE has ordered 1,000 additional test kits for sale at the discounted price of $3 and they can be ordered at https://drhomeair.fmbetterforms.com/#/maryland-discount.
Two educational outreach events, in which radon educational materials will be available, will be held at the Eldersburg Library in Carroll County on Wednesday, Jan.12 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., and at the Lowes store in Frederick on Saturday, Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. until noon.
Selected billboards in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard, Carroll and Frederick counties will have radon awareness messaging through Jan. 30. Advertisements will run in the Frederick News-Post newspaper and be placed on its website during January.
MDE’s radon homepage has an ad display emphasizing the importance of radon testing in residences and the agency’s Facebook page will have radon trivia each Tuesday and offer the chance for readers to win prizes. To read Gov. Larry Hogan’s proclamation, click here.
Radon gas, formed by the decay of uranium in the soil, is colorless and odorless. Studies in recent years show that nearly three of every 10 Maryland homes have interior air over the recommended radon action limit of four picocuries per liter. An additional nearly 20% of homes are at risk with levels between 2-4 picocuries per liter.