WDH Wants Wyoming Families to Test Homes for Radon
Written by Caleb Nelson on January 10, 2023
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is asking families across the state to consider testing their homes for radon to find out if a potentially dangerous health risk exists.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless and dangerous gas found in many places, including the home. Radon occurs naturally as a radioactive gas released from the element radium; it’s found in rocks, soil and water.
Unlike other intermediate elements, radon is (under normal conditions) gaseous and easily inhaled and therefore a possible health hazard.
“As radium in the soil naturally degrades, it can seep up into buildings, get trapped inside and grow in intensity,” says Randi Norton-Herrington, Wyoming Cancer Program outreach and education coordinator. “All homes have radon; however, with higher levels, the risks become a health concern. Radon is recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer.”
“Ongoing exposure to higher, more dangerous radon levels can be reduced with testing and home modifications. That’s why we offer free or low-cost test kits to Wyoming residents. We want them to know the risk level within their homes so they can address potential problems,” Norton-Herrington adds.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines an elevated level of radon as anything over 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The EPA recommends homes with elevated levels be fixed and encourages testing every two years.
WDH recently invited students to enter a video contest aimed at highlighting radon information and encouraging testing.
Video Contest Grades 9-12
1st Place: Jayde Harrington, Newcastle High School
Kendal Mullen, Newcastle High School
2nd Place: Korbyn Hay, Farson-Eden High School
Sydney Jones, Farson-Eden High School
Kaison May, Farson-Eden High School
Griffin Romero, Farson-Eden High School
3rd Place: Bryndalynn Abbott, Farson-Eden High School
Rebecca Smith, Farson-Eden High School
Keelie Thoren, Farson-Eden High School
Katie Weese, Farson-Eden High School
The most viewed videos were from Heath Henkle and Trinity Shroyer, both of Newcastle High School.
Wyoming students in grades 3-9 are invited to participate in the program’s annual radon poster contest. Entries should focus on radon exposure dangers or home testing promotion. Deadline for the poster contest is April 30.
The Wyoming Cancer Program has free or low-cost radon test kits available based on available supplies. To obtain a radon test kit, to view winning video entries or to enter the poster contest, please click here.