The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution cosponsored by County Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) encouraging county residents to have inexpensive radon gas tests performed at their homes at its February 16 session.
“Radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas that emanates from rocks, soil and water, is the leading cause of non-smoking related cancer deaths in the United States. It seeps into homes and poses substantial health risks at elevated levels,” Chairperson Grant said. “More than 21,000 radon-related deaths were recorded in the United States in 2008, more than the total number of deaths from drunken driving, drowning and plane crashes combined. One in 15 American homes has an elevated level of radon before remedial treatment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Chairperson Grant noted that many Erie County communities were susceptible to possible radon exposure.
“Certain Erie County communities are considered hot beds for radon gas, including but not limited to the towns of Marilla, Aurora, Holland, Concord, Collins and Sardinia. High-population communities including the City of Buffalo and Town of Cheektowaga have also recorded radon seepage into houses,” Chairperson Grant added. “Environmental experts recommend that homes be tested for radon annually; simple acts such as neighbors installing pools or sewer line work can affect underground gas movement into homes.”
New York State homebuyers have the right to have their prospective homes tested for radon.
“But many homeowners do not take advantage of their right to have their homes tested for radon. In Erie County, the Department of Environment and Planning provides inexpensive radon tests for $8 per test,” Chairperson Grant said. “Testing for radon in homes can provide peace of mind when results do not indicate a need for remediation, and can ultimately help save lives of residents of those homes when remediation is indicated and completed. This is one way we can protect ourselves, our children, families and particularly our elderly relatives and neighbors who may not be able to detect radon gas leakage in their homes.”
For more information on home radon testing, people can call the Erie County Office for Indoor Air Quality Information Line at 858-6200.