Georgia Public Library Service and the University of Georgia Extension partner to promote radon awareness
The University of Georgia Extension and the Georgia Public Library Service have collaborated to launch the Electronic Radon Monitor Loan Program, an initiative aimed at promoting radon safety and awareness throughout the state of Georgia.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, following smoking, and it is the primary cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is a natural byproduct when uranium breaks down into radon gas. Uranium is often found in high concentrations in granite rocky soils, which are common in northern Georgia counties. Radon is released from the soil and can enter buildings through foundations and well water, leading to dangerous levels of exposure.
This program contributes to public health by offering electronic radon monitors for borrowing at all public libraries in Georgia. Patrons can check out a monitor using their library card, allowing them to easily assess the radon levels in their living spaces and determine if there is a potential danger. Radon is responsible for nearly 21,000 deaths annually, including over 800 in Georgia. It can affect any home, regardless of its construction or age. If elevated radon levels are detected, they can be mitigated by installing a radon mitigation system.
Derek Cooper, a radon educator at the University of Georgia, expressed enthusiasm about the monitors being available at libraries across the state, highlighting their potential to be used numerous times and prevent many cases of lung cancer. Testing is crucial to ensuring a radon-safe home.
The radon monitor loan kit can be borrowed for 14 days with the option for two renewals. Each kit includes a paper slip with two QR codes: one provides access to an instructional video, while the other directs users to a website for submitting their results. When patrons share their findings with the UGA Extension, the data will be used for scientific research and to increase awareness of radon levels in Georgia.
To reserve a radon kit for checkout from a Cobb County Public Library location, individuals can visit cobbcat.org or call 770-528-2326.
In addition to the radon monitor loan program, the UGA Radon Program plans to visit libraries across the state to conduct educational programs on radon safety and testing.
Funding for the program comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grants Program.
For more information about radon, you can visit radon.uga.edu.