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N.H. Realtors, DES agree to loosen radon warning guidelines

N.H. Realtors, DES agree to loosen radon warning guidelines

By ALLIE MORRIS
Monitor staff
Friday, March 18, 2016
(Published in print: Friday, March 18, 2016)

New Hampshire Realtors and the Department of Environmental Services have struck a deal over how to advise residents about the safety risks of radon in drinking water.

A Senate bill up for debate this year would have effectively limited the state’s ability to communicate any health risks associated with radon in water to residents. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas formed in granite that can get into the air and water and lead to different forms of cancer.

The groups agreed to revise the department guidelines.

Previously, if tests revealed radon reached a certain level in drinking water – 2,000 picocuries per liter – the state advised homeowners to consult mitigation professionals.

High radon levels found at nine Fayette County schools

High radon levels were found at nine Fayette County Public Schools, requiring an emergency fix, a district official said Thursday.

The schools were: Bryan Station High, Booker T. Washington Intermediate, Harrison, Leestown Middle, LTMS, Mary Todd, Russell Cave, SCAPA and Sandersville. The remediation will cost $571,846.

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, according to the EPA website. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It moves up through the ground to the air and into buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

The levels of radon are higher than the 4 picocuries per liter limit recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The highest level found was Harrison Elementary at 15.8 picocuries per level.

Myron Thompson, acting senior director of operations and support, said work will begin during spring break and continue over the summer, all when students are not present.

Does Your Home or Building Need Radon Testing?

"Radon" sounds like a secret supervillain, and you could say that's essentially what it is. An invisible, odorless gas, radon concentrates in homes and buildings, exposing those who breathe it in to the second-top cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The good news is radon testing is simple; high-radon homes can be mitigated or fixed – and free or reduced-cost testing is offered in many areas.

Learn more about radon, mitigation, and testing for peace of mind.

In N.H., Realtors and Regulators at Odds Over "Safe" Radon Levels

A long-running dispute between the real estate industry and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is back before the state legislature this year. Realtors have put forward a bill that would force the DES to get in line with federal standards when it comes to what's considered safe levels of radon in drinking water.

New Hampshire has no standard on how much radon in drinking water is safe, but it has set a level at which it recommends homeowners take action: 2,000 picocuries per liter. Meanwhile, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has never set a limit on the safe level of radon in drinking water.

Learn more here.

Radon: It could be lurking in your home or child’s school

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the Unites States. It’s caused most frequently by smoking, but radon exposure is believed to be the second leading cause. Radon may be lurking in your own home or your child’s school without you even knowing.

Read the rest of the article here.

Radon is an unseen danger

Even though this is the last day of January, it is still important to note that it is National Radon Awareness month.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, only behind tobacco smoke. It is responsible for a reported 21,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when naturally-occurring uranium in granite bedrock decays into radium. This radium then decays to radon, a colorless, odorless gas. Radon is not harmful outside, but it can build up to damaging levels inside a house.

All of North Georgia, especially the upper third of the state, is considered to be at a moderate to high radon risk.

In Columbia and Richmond counties, an average of 4 percent of the test kits come back with elevated levels of radon.

Radon enters homes through cracks and crevices in your foundation. The air pressure inside your home acts as a vacuum, helping to pull radon up from the soil beneath.

Radon: Unmasking the Invisible Killer

Radon gas is invisible and odorless. But it reveals itself in a deadly footprint it can leave behind -- lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and one in 15 homes in America is at risk from elevated levels of radon. January is National Radon Action Month and the perfect time to take action to protect you and your loved ones from this invisible killer.

Understanding Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. It occurs when uranium in the soil and rock underground breaks down to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that are inhaled and can cause lung cancer. Radon enters a home through cracks in the walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings, and can build up to dangerous concentrations.

New radon hot spots appearing in Oregon

Watch Video here: http://www.kgw.com/news/local/radon-hot-spots-popping-up-in-oregon/20033196

PORTLAND, Ore. -- New research shows radon gas is popping up in some surprising places.

You can't see it, taste it or smell it, but radon exists in roughly one out of every four Portland-area homes.

And it can be deadly.

At only 49 years old, Darcy White was diagnosed with lung cancer, a year after her mother died from it.

"I had a 38 percent chance of survival after five years," White explained. "And I'll be at seven years this April 7th."

After chemotherapy and surgery to remove part of her lung, White is now cancer free and on a mission to warn people about radon.

It's what her doctor believes caused her cancer.

"He said 'I believe it was radon particularly because where you were raised,'" she said.

January is radon awareness month

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Here is a shocking fact. The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon. In the United States, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are radon related and in Canada that number stands at approximately 3,000.

Radon, a dangerous gas, is colorless, odorless, tasteless and radioactive. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater.

Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States and Canada is estimated to have an elevated radon level. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem - this means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements since this secret killer comes from the ground not from construction materials.

How Radon Can Get Into Your Home

National Radon Action Month: Spreading awareness

You can't see it, smell it, or taste it in your home but there may be dangerous levels or radon lurking in your house.

About twenty-one thousand Americans die each year from lung cancer caused from radon. The month of January is National Radon Action month and the EPA and U.S. Surgeon General are encouraging everyone to test their homes, businesses, and schools.

"I see a lot of people with cancer. Probably once every two weeks I'm in somebody's home that has had cancer and don't have an explanation for it, in particular lung cancer and have come to find out that their radons high," said Kevin Siers, owner of KSA Radon Services.

Other prevention techniques the EPA is promoting this month are spreading the word and attending a radon awareness event in our area.

Learn more about how you can raise awareness!