West Virginia Department of Health Urges Residents to Test for Radon during National Radon Action Month


As part of National Radon Action Month, the West Virginia Department of Health (DH) is encouraging West Virginians to test their home or workplace for radon. Governor Jim Justice also proclaimed January as National Radon Action Month in West Virginia.

“Radon is a problem you can’t see, taste, or smell, but that doesn’t mean the poisonous gas isn’t there,” said Dr. Matthew Christiansen, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DH’s Bureau for Public Health. “The cancer-causing, radioactive gas comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water, and can get into the air we breathe.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the greatest risk of exposure comes from homes, where residents spend most of their time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates radon to be a cause of many cancer cases each year and the leading cause of cancer among non-smokers. CDC reports people who smoke and are exposed to radon have a 10 times higher risk of developing lung cancer from exposure compared with people who do not smoke and are exposed to the same radon levels.

The Office of Environmental Health Services’ radon program monitors levels across the state, reporting results on the Public Radon Dashboard. Residents may request a free radon testing kit by emailing [email protected] or by calling 304-352-5039.

According to CDC, radon reduction systems can reduce home radon levels by up to 99 percent. Click here to learn more about West Virginia’s Radon Program. To view and apply for careers in the public health field, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx.