COUNTYWIDE : Supervisors to Vote on Radon Program

A program being considered by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors would offer information about radon and testing for the deadly gas.

Ventura County is one of 50 counties across the nation that have been offered a $10,000 grant from a national radon awareness organization to set up the program. Supervisors will vote on the program Tuesday, said Donald W. Koepp, director of the county's environmental health division.

State studies of radon levels in Ventura County in 1990 and 1991 indicated that about 15% of the homes in eastern Thousand Oaks, Oak Park and Bell Canyon had radon concentrations that exceeded state and national averages.

About 8% of the homes in Simi Valley, western Thousand Oaks and Fillmore exceeded the averages.

If the program is approved, residents in those and other areas could get information about the risks of radon and how to eliminate it from homes.

The county may also work with a private radon testing company to provide free test kits and assistance in using them, Koepp said. Preliminary plans also call for public information workshops on radon.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the radioactive decay of radium. It is also produced naturally in some soil and rock, and can build to unsafe levels in houses.

Lung cancer has been linked to long-term exposure to dangerous levels of radon.

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