What is radon gas?
Radon is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is a naturally occurring gas due to the breakdown of uranium in soils, rocks, and water.
How does it get into my home?
Radon can enter your home from surrounding soils through cracks and other holes in your home's foundation. Radon is then trapped within the home and testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk of exposure.
Will radon gas make me sick?
There are no short-term health effects associated with radon. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General, prolonged exposures to high concentrations over time may attribute to lung cancer. Thus, exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.
How do I test for radon gas?
Testing is simple as opening a package, placing a radon detector in your home in an appropriate area, and after the recommended number of days, sealing the detector back in the package and mailing it to the lab for analysis. Test kits can be purchased for $15.00 at the Environmental Division of the Elkhart County Health Department, located in the Public Services Building, 4230 Elkhart Road. (Please note that only checks made out to Radon Analytical Labs can be accepted.) Test kits can also be purchased at your local hardware stores or from a licensed radon tester.
Please contact the Elkhart County Health Department at (574)971-4600 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday) and ask more questions about RADON.
For more information visit EPA's Radon page.
Mold is an increasing public health concern in homes and workplaces. Environmental Health Services answers many questions each year associated with mold and other indoor air quality issues. The following are frequently asked questions concerning mold:
What is MOLD?
Molds are fungi that are found almost everywhere. More than likely you are breathing mold spores right now! Molds grow throughout the environment, inside and out, in soils, on food, on plants, and even on building materials when moisture is present. Molds occur naturally in the environment and are necessary decomposers of organic matter. (Cheese and penicillin are both products of mold.) There are various colors of mold including white, green, black, and orange. They reproduce by releasing microscopic spores that spread easily in the air and can enter a home or building through windows, doors, cracks, and vents.
What does MOLD need to grow?
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to survive so damp areas within homes and workplaces are prime areas where it may grow. MOLD HAS TO HAVE MOISTURE TO GROW! So the key to avoiding mold growth inside homes and the workplace is by keeping them dry and maintaining them.
Can MOLD affect our health?
Mold affects each person differently. Some of us who are allergic to mold may be more sensitive to mold exposure than those of us who are not allergic. However, exposure to high concentrations of mold and mold spores over time can be unhealthy for anyone. Some of the most common health problems associated with exposures to indoor mold include:
Some individuals may be at a greater risk of becoming sick from being exposed to indoor mold growth. These individuals include:
If you have special health concerns or feel that mold is affecting your health please contact your doctor for help.
How do I know if I have a MOLD problem?
Use your eyes and your nose to determine if your home or workplace has a mold problem. If you see mold and there is a musty smell it is probably safe to assume you may have a mold problem. Also look for signs of moisture problems such as water leaks in pipes and the roof, standing water, and water stains on the floors, walls, and other building materials.
Should I test for MOLD?
Contact us for a list of individuals who perform indoor air quality evaluations (including mold testing) and mold clean up.
How should I clean up and remove the MOLD?
How can I protect others and myself while performing MOLD clean up?
BE ON THE ALERT FOR FURTHER MOLD GROWTH AND PREVENT IT FROM GROWING!!!
Are there any Federal, State, or Local Regulations that require the clean up of MOLD in the home or workplace?
Currently, there are no regulations or standards that require mold to be cleaned up or address how much mold you can be exposed to.
Please feel free to contact us with further questions at (574) 971-4600 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays).
4230 Elkhart Road
Elkhart, IN 46516