Reduce Radon Risks through Awareness
SOMERVILLE - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Regional Chronic Disease Cancer Coalition of Morris and Somerset counties are partnering to recognize January as Radon Awareness Month.
The freeholder board will present a proclamation at its Jan. 9 freeholders’ meeting acknowledging the importance of awareness. The public is invited to help themselves to literature at the radon awareness table in the lobby of the county administration building at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, weekdays throughout January from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Somerset County is committed to increasing radon awareness to reduce the incidence of lung cancer through radon exposure; to encourage residents to go for cancer screenings so that problems can be identified at an earlier, less dangerous stage; and to reinforce the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.
Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that occurs naturally when uranium and radium break down in the soil and in rock formations. Radon occurs in higher concentrations in certain areas of the state, including Morris and Somerset Counties.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is associated with approximately 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. According to the RCDC, lung and bronchus cancers are the No. 1 cause of cancer-related fatalities in Morris and Somerset Counties.
Smokers and people exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater risk of developing lung cancer if they are also exposed to excess radon. Radon does not cause any immediate symptoms, such as asthma or respiratory problems. Testing for radon is the only way to know if a home has elevated radon levels.
For comprehensive information about radon, go to https://www.epa.gov/radon.
A limited number of radon kits will be available to county residents who have not tested their homes in the past on a first-come, first-served basis at various health departments throughout Somerset County. Restrictions will apply.
Residents should contact their local health department or the Somerset County Department of Health for cost, availability and information on radon-testing procedures and mitigation. A listing of health departments in Somerset County can be found at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health. To contact the county health department, call 908-231-7155 or email HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.
The RCDC operates under the auspices of the Somerset County Department of Health. The RCDC is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health’s Office of Cancer Control and Prevention.
For more information on the RCDC, to become a member or learn more about available cancer resources or screening locations, dates, times and eligibility, contact Public Health Consultant Lucille Y-Talbot at 908-203-6077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Namitha Reddy, MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer
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The Somerset County Department of Health is dedicated to fostering healthy lifestyles and a safe environment through effective leadership in public health, comprehensive planning, development of proactive community partnerships and a continued commitment to public health service. Additionally, SCDOH is the lead agency responsible for countywide Public Health emergency planning and response activities.
SCDOH provides essential public health services to our contract communities including:
- Public Health Administration
- Health Education
- Consumer Health
- Public Health Nursing
- Communicable Disease Control and Prevention
- Maternal and Child Health
- Adult Health Programs
SCDOH also provides and supports essential services throughout the County and the region, including:
- Public Health Emergency Preparedness
- Environmental Health
- Regional Chronic Disease Coalition
- TB Control
Who We Serve:
The Somerset County Department of Health serves as the Health Department to our contracted communities:
- Bedminster (including Pluckemin, Pottersville)
- Bound Brook
- Far Hills
- Franklin (including East Millstone, Franklin Park, Kingston, Middlebush, Griggstown, Little Rocky Hill, Somerset, Zarephath)
- North Plainfield
- South Bound Brook
If you live in any other township, please contact your local health department.