DEP notifies homeowners in high radon areas, offers free test

BELLEFONTE – Homeowners in eight townships in Central Pennsylvania will receive letters in March from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and American Lung Association (ALA), notifying them of high radon levels in their vicinity and providing a coupon for a free radon test.

“Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels. From years of data we know that some parts of the state have higher radon levels than others, and we want to get test kits into the hands of homeowners in these areas,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We certainly continue to encourage all Pennsylvania homeowners to test as well.” Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that can enter homes through the soil and is a known human carcinogen. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended guideline for radon levels is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

DEP uses data since 1985 that show radon levels at 100 pCi/L or higher to identify areas for targeted outreach and then invites municipalities to provide addresses, if they choose to participate. Almost 10,000 homeowners will receive the letters with coupons this month, beginning this week:

r Centre County: 1,930 homeowners in Haines, Penn, and Potter Townships

r Lycoming County: 949 homeowners in Hepburn Township

r Lancaster County: 2,471 homeowners in Colerain and Little Britain Townships

r Mifflin County: 2,999 homeowners in Derry Township

r York County: 1,526 homeowners in Peach Bottom Township

This is the fourth year that DEP and ALA have teamed up on direct outreach to homeowners. About 30 municipalities have agreed to partner. The program receives funding from EPA.

DEP provides ongoing public information at Radon in the Home, and people can also contact the division at 800-237-2366; 717-783-3594; or