Radon Awareness Month encourages home testing

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. — January is National Radon Action Month, a time dedicated to reminding homeowners to test for the cancer-causing gas before long term damage sets in.

“It’s a radioactive gas,” said environmental inspector Sheila Jascemskas. “You can’t smell it, taste it or see it. The only way to know is to test it.”

Radon is a gas that most counties along the Stateline have high levels of, that enters through basements.

“Your neighbor could have a really low radon, and yours may be high,” said Jascemskas. “It’s all in the geology underneath the basements of each house.”

Experts suggest homes be tested for radon every three to five years. While testing isn’t mandatory in Illinois, radon gas disclosure documents are.

“When you sell property you have to fill out that disclosure, and it basically states if you’ve had the home tested, were the levels high or not and the new buyer gets to see the disclosure so they’re aware of it,” said real estate broker Lora Gilbert.

Gilbert says testing should be done when buying a house, or if homeowners have lived in the same place for years.

“Radon deaths are preventable, and your home is the place you spend the most time so it needs to be tested to make sure it’s safe.”

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