Yancey County Radon Program
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Radon is released harmlessly from the ground into outdoor air, but it can accumulate and reach harmful levels when trapped in homes and buildings. Yancey County has been designated as a Zone 2 County by the Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, most homes in this area have moderate potential with radon levels between 2 and 3 picocuries per liter. Mitchell County has been designated as a Zone 1 County. Zone 1 areas have the highest potential for high radon screening levels greater than 4 picocuries per liter. Exposure to radon over a long period of time in a home that has levels above 4 picocuries per liter of air raises the health risk of developing cancer. Four picocuries is the level at which it is recommended that you fix your home. Houses, even in the same neighborhood, can have very different levels. Testing for radon in your own home is simple and inexpensive.
January has been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as National Radon Action Month. The NC Radon Program urges residents to test their homes for radon this month. Radon tests kits are available for free during January at your Cooperative Extension center. For a free test kit and more information on radon, please contact the Yancey County Cooperative at 10 Orchard Drive, Burnsville, or call us at 828-682-6182. Additional information can also be found on NC Radon Program’s website at www.ncradon.org.