Omaha Public Radio News
10:51 am
Sat January 22, 2011

Nebraska has high levels of radon in homes

Omaha, NE – January is National Radon Action Month according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Indoor Air Quality Program Manager Sara Morgan says Nebraska homes are likely to have high levels of radon. Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that comes from uranium in the Earth's crust. Morgan says it originates in the soil underneath our houses and buildings. She says the gas can seep into buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation. Morgan says the best way to find out if your home has high levels of radon is to test it. She says "people get one of those tests. They set it out in an appropriate spot in their home and after the testing time period is up, they mail it to a laboratory. The laboratory will then analyze it and tell the homeowner what radon levels they found."

Morgan says if the test comes back showing high levels of radon, the problem can be mitigated fairly easily with a venting system. She says radon is radioactive and could damage lung tissue when inhaled so it is important to test your home. Short-term radon test kits are available at local hardware stores.