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Cayuga County Health Department: Radon and Carbon Monoxide Awareness

The days are growing shorter and the nights colder, and it is likely that we are shutting our windows to block out the chill in the air. With winter and the holidays fast approaching, radon and carbon monoxide are probably not the first things on your mind. Unfortunately, these invisible, odorless gases can be a big threat to your health and safety. Luckily, now is the perfect time to take action against them, and the Cayuga County Health Department has the resources available to help.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas. It is a carcinogen, which means that it causes cancer. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon kills 21,000 people each year. Radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, so most people are unaware of its presence. It can leak into your home or apartment through cracks in your basement or slab, the dirt floor in your crawl space, or openings around your sump pump. Any home can have high radon levels. The EPA and the state Department of Health have designated Cayuga County as a high-risk radon county due to the fact that many residences have already been shown to have high levels of radon.

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