Local News

Wake County Seeks People To Test For Radon

Posted February 9, 2004 7:47 a.m. EST

— Perhaps not many people in the Triangle consider


a real threat.

That could change.

Tests are about to start across Wake County to find out how much of the cancer-causing agent is in the air and water.

Laura Rutt received a letter from Wake County asking her to volunteer for the radon study. The county sent out 800 letters to homeowners, selected at random, who have wells.

The first 400 people to volunteer for the study will receive a radon test kit. The kit is to be hung up in the home for three days -- it's best to hang it in the basement -- then sealed up and mailed to the county.

The county will test the charcoal inside the kits to see if there is radon in the homes.

If a kit shows high levels of radon, the homeowner will be responsible for doing something about it.

One thing homeowners can do is install a ventillation system.

Radon seeps up from the ground. You cannot see it or smell it. It is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.

When asked if the public should be concerned about radon, environmental engineer Elliott Cornell said: "yes."

Much of Wake County sits on a granite foundation. Radon comes from uranium, which is found in granite.

Rutt is especially concerned. The area where she lives is called Granite Ridge.