BUFFALO GROVE – During this Radon Action Month, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) is urging people to test their homes for the harmful, radioactive gas while also educating their children about it.

Radon awareness FB“A simple home test can be the difference between life and death,” Johnson said. “No home should be considered safe – no matter how old it is. The only way to know if a family is at risk is by testing for radon levels.”

Radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the United States Surgeon General. In Illinois alone, 40% of tested homes had radon – particularly homes located in central and northern regions of the state.

Testing a home for radon is easy. Most hardware stores sell self-administered tests that will report the radon levels within a few days. If the levels are high, there are steps that can then be taken to lower them, including having a fan installed, which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside.

To help bring further awareness, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the American Lung Association in Illinois are teaming up to host two statewide contests encouraging middle and high school students to use their creative talents while learning more about the harmful gas. The radon video contest asks Illinois high school students to create a 30-second commercial-style video, while the radon poster contest asks middle school students to create a poster to encourage people to test their homes.

“Many students are still learning from home, and this is a great activity to get their minds working, while helping their creativity flow,” Johnson said.

For more information about radon, people can visit www.radon.illinois.gov or call the radon hotline at 800-325-1245.