OC Health Dept. Offers Limited Free Radon Test Kits This Month

The odorless, colorless gas radon is the second leading cause of deadly lung cancer in the U.S. – and too often, it’s found in our homes.

January is National Radon Action Month.

The North Carolina Radon program has distributed approximately 7,000 free radon testing kits across the state, and Orange County only received about 30 of them.

“They are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, said Stacy Shelp, public information officer for the Orange County Health Department. “Anyone’s eligible. There’s no income requirement, etc. People just have to stop by the Environmental Health Dept. in Hillsborough, starting on the 12th of January, or give us a call.”

They’re available through January 30th, or while supplies last.

Thirty test kits aren’t a lot, obviously. But Shelp said there’s no need to panic.

“The good news is that Orange County is not particularly prone to radon,” said Shelp. “You typically find radon in places that, geographically, have high presence of granite-type bedrock. So, the North Carolina mountains, particularly, would be more concerned.

Still, she added, radon is not found more often in any particular kind of structure, so we should all take precautions against it.

Shelp said that once the supply of free kits runs out, the NC Radon Program will return to providing kits for $5.35, at a savings of nearly $10.

You can also buy a kit for around $15 at a big-box home improvement store, or just about any small hardware store.

The Orange County Environmental Health Department is located at 131 West Margaret Lane, Suite 100.

You can call the EHD at 919-245-2360.

For more information on radon and how you can lower your family’s risk of lung cancer, you can visit www.ncradon.org.


Community Input Development Sessions; Political Sign Regulations; Radon Prevention

CHAPEL HILL – Monday night, the Council Committee on Boards and Commissions in Chapel Hill held its first of five community input sessions.

Stemming from Chapel Hill 2020, the Council Committee on Boards and Commissions has arranged for five advisory boards to meet in order to further the Town’s development progress.

The first of these meetings hosted the Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board.

The topics covered in four following community input sessions include community design, environmental stewardship, community housing, and planning.

The Council Committee on Boards and Commissions arranged these sessions in order to gain participation from community members.

These meetings will be conducted at 6:30 PM at the Chapel Hill Public Library, located at 100 Library Drive.

If you would like to attend a meeting, click here.


The Land Use Management Ordinance of Chapel Hill has instituted rules for political signs to prepare for the upcoming municipal and school board elections in November.

Temporary political signs promoting candidates or topics are permitted, as long as they are at most four square feet in area.

Political signs erected on private land must be taken down seven days after the election has ended.

Signs located in the public right-of-way may be assembled up to 45 days before the election and must be taken down within 12 days after the election.

Signs may not block the traffic signals or road signs. In addition, signs may not use terms or images that could confuse drivers with directional or regulatory traffic signs.


Many families are not aware that they may be at risk of lung cancer, due to inhaling radon gas.

Radon gas comes from the decay of Uranium in soil and can sneak into homes by air movement through soil, cracks in foundation, well water, and some building materials, like concrete.

Radon stands as the chief source of radiation for Americans. Also, radon can attack sensitive tissues in the lungs, resulting in cancer.

Using Radon Resistant New Construction, home builders can construct new homes to prevent radon intrusion.

The North Carolina Radon Program is providing a limited number of free radon test kits, specially for NC families with newborns. Also, test kits can be bought at hardware stores and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Service’s website.