Radon in the News
RAYMOND - Raymond residents Howard and Eileen Stiles are warning area homeowners on private wells to check their water for uranium.
After hearing from some of their neighbors who found high uranium content in their well water, the longtime residents of Raymond's Deep Cove Road, located off Jordan Bay, had their water tested twice. Both tests came back with nearly identical results: 68 micrograms of uranium per milliliter, more than twice the federal Environmental Protection Agency standard of 30 mg/l.
While the human body can eliminate excess uranium from the system within a matter of weeks, according to the World Health Organization, ingestion of uranium over long periods can result in cancerous mutation of kidney cells due to uranium build-up.
As many as half the schools in Colorado may be out of compliance with a 1991 state law that required them to test radon levels in their buildings and keep documentation of those tests on file.
A survey of each of the state’s 2,274 K-12 schools – sent out by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in 2009 and still not completed by all of them – found that most schools likely did the testing, and that most of those who found elevated levels of the cancer-causing gas did take steps to fix the problem.
But many did not. More than 300 acknowledge they never completed the testing. And many others lack the documentation to prove they did – nor can they show whether any remediation steps they took were adequate at the time and remain adequate today.
Steven F. Hayward is the F. K. Weyerhaeuser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of the Almanac of Environmental Trends.
The catastrophe at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is being regarded as the atomic power equivalent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which set back offshore oil drilling just as it appeared on the brink of a substantial expansion. This means we've now come full circle, as critics of offshore drilling compared the Gulf oil spill to Chernobyl. At the very least the events in Japan are going to reinforce the reluctance of Wall Street to invest in new nuclear power in the United States, deter insurance companies from covering nuclear plants, and increase resistance on Capitol Hill to extending the loan guarantees the nuclear industry says are essential to kick-starting more nuclear installations.
MANITOWOC — Eric Zabel and his family are breathing a little easier now that they know the three-bedroom ranch in Cato they bought about four years ago is free of radon gas.
Prior to buying their home, they had no idea of radon's existence or its negative health effects, Zabel said. They had radon levels tested at the suggestion of their home inspector and real estate agent.
"We bought our house in November of '06 and one of the contingencies on the offer to purchase was that it pass the radon test, so for the couple of hundred dollars that it cost to do that test, we thought it was worth it financially and, most importantly, for our health," he said.
Zabel, 33, and his wife, Claire, were particularly concerned about the health of their daughter, Julia, now 4, who was a few months old at the time, he said. They have since added Courtney, 15 months, and Jeffery, 1 month.
The home didn't pass the test. It was found to have elevated levels of radon, he said.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro Nashville schools have launched a major effort to test every school building for the cancer-causing gas radon.
It follows an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation that discovered a startling failure to follow a law passed more than 20 years ago to require testing.
The testing quietly began in 28 schools over Spring Break, but the initial results won't be back for at least a week. Eventually, all 139 schools will be tested.
But NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that Metro schools have not tested for the gas in more than 20 years despite a disturbing history with radon.
Davidson County is a high-risk area for radon, which occurs naturally when certain soil and rock decay. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country.
Watch this news segment.
ROANOKE - "It's a concern," said Sherry Greene. "You want your children to be safe and you want to be safe."
That's why Greene has a radon ventilation system in her home.
Her family moved in about six years ago.
She says the system had already been installed.
"It's nice to know it's already in place. It's taking that out -- if it's here."
But, not everyone is taking the same precautions.
George Fardell, the owner of RADON Safe in Roanoke, says everyone should be concerned. "Sometimes it's too late. That's the problem. A lot of times, we get called to a home and a spouse has died of lung cancer, maybe never smoked."
(CBS) As Americans watch the nuclear reactor drama unfold in Japan, many have radiation concerns closer to home. One of them is radon.
What is it? How dangerous is it? And how can you keep your family safe?
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that has no taste or smell. But over time, it can be very dangerous. Each year, it's estimated that more than 21,000 people die from lung cancer caused by radon exposure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's almost twice as many deaths as drunk driving. It's the second most likely cause of lung cancer death, behind cigarette smoking.
Radon gas comes from the breakdown of uranium naturally found in soil, rocks and water. That's right, uranium isn't just in nuclear bombs and power plants. It's found in nature too, but in a far less concentrated and less radioactive form.
Canada's $44 billion renovation industry has been the fastest growing part of the housing sector for the last 10 years, but it is risking the health of those living in the houses under construction -- particularly children -- says a report by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).
Renovation activities including energy retrofits, if not done carefully, can greatly increase indoor contaminant exposures, says the report. Renovations may disturb toxic contaminants such as lead, asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that are legacies of past product uses and practices. Air sealing or tightening a building can reduce the frequency of air exchange and potentially lead to higher radon levels in indoor air, as well as moisture and mould problems.
A game-changing juggernaut is steadily making its way through the building code development and approval process. The International Green Construction Code (IGCC)—some call it the “Green Code”—promises to bring considerable change to the design and construction industry when adopted as early as 2012. Over the next several months, this code will evolve through public comment, making now a critical time for the profession to get involved.
FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- It may be hard to think of radiation as a present and serious environmental health concern in the United States, much less one with the potential to affect nearly every home in the country.
But a radioactive gas known as radon is responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
"It's the second leading cause of lung cancer, and, for non-smokers, it is the leading cause of lung cancer," said Kristy Miller, a spokeswoman for the indoor environments division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "It is invisible and odorless. It causes no symptoms. You possibly may be breathing in high levels and not even know it."
Radon gas is created by the breakdown of uranium in rocks, soil and water. It seeps up through the ground and into homes through foundation cracks and crawl spaces.