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Radon in the News

Radon danger found in Montana homes

Montana is famous for its geology. Our vast valleys and towering mountains are some of the reasons we love living here. However, because of that geology, more than 50 percent of the buildings and homes tested in Missoula contain dangerous levels of radon.

The good news is that testing for radon is easy. Inexpensive test kits can be obtained at the Missoula City-County Health Department. The test kits are easy to use and include instructions and a prepaid envelope for mailing to a lab for analysis.

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Radon is on county’s radar: Gas mitigation may become required

Some essential pieces of a radon-mitigation system could be built into every new home when the new county building codes are approved.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas released by decaying uranium in rocks, and long-term exposure can cause lung cancer. The gas is common in La Plata County, but there is no way to test for it before a house is built. So the county may require parts of radon-ventilation systems be included in every home as part an updated building code, said Butch Knowlton, director of the building department.

Updates to the code could be ready for adoption in early 2016, he told the county commissioners.

“It’s easier to mitigate with new home construction than it is to go back in an existing home and try to retrofit,” Knowlton said.

Radon requirements for buildings already have been adopted by many Colorado towns and counties, said Wendy Rice, a consumer science agent for the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

Radon Tests Could Be Required Under New County Council Bill

A new bill introduced Tuesday, June 16, 2015, by the Montgomery County Council would mandate that local home sellers test for the radioactive gas radon and provide buyers with the results.

The intent of the bill is to help home buyers be aware of the existence of the gas, which can cause serious illnesses and often occurs in single-family homes in the county, according to a memo about the bill provided to council members. Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in rocks and soils and typically enters homes through cracks or other holes in the foundation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Combined effects of tobacco smoke and radon put Kentuckians at heightened risk of lung cancer

In Kentucky, a trifecta of risk factors contributes to a high prevalence of lung cancer.

High smoking rates and weak or nonexistent smoke-free laws in Kentucky are undeniably linked to high rates of lung cancer, but the soil underground also poses considerable dangers. Exposure to radon — an odorless, tasteless gas that escapes from our limestone-enriched landscape — also increases the risk of lung cancer. Our laws don't adequately protect Kentuckians through mandated testing and monitoring of radon levels or smoke-free protections.

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Is radon in Utah schools? KSL investigates

HOLLADAY — A silent killer may be lurking in Utah schools, but districts aren't required to test for it. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that seeps up from the ground. Health officials say it is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Many Utahns have tested their homes and found high levels of radon, but what's going on in our schools?

To find out, the KSL Investigators teamed up with radon technicians and district officials to test six elementary schools in the City of Holladay: Cottonwood Elementary, Crestview Elementary, Howard R. Driggs Elementary, Morningside Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, and Spring Lane Elementary.

Armed with more than 200 charcoal test kits, Radovent technicians set out samples in every office, classroom, and space frequently occupied by teachers, students and staff.

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Separating fact from fiction concerning radon

Radon gas poses a real, yet easily managed threat to homeowners and homebuyers in Pennsylvania. However, the threats posed by radon gas, as well as the means for dealing with elevated levels of radon gas are often misunderstood by the general public. To help clear up the mysteries surrounding this silent killer, I sat down with local home inspection expert John Kerrigan of Reliable Home Inspection Service.

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Slovaks lack radon awareness

A NATURALLY-OCCURRING radioactive gas that leaks from the ground has become an invisible killer due to changes in home construction and lifestyles, and it disproportionately threatens children. Despite European Union rules that oblige member states to improve policies to deal with radon, the gas in question, there appears to be little interest in the issue in Slovakia.

“Officers should measure levels of radon but they do not,” Juraj Vaník from AG&E, a company which conducts radon measurement, told The Slovak Spectator. “The legislation addresses ionisation from subsoil. Sadly no officer from any village’s municipality connects it with radon; it is outside their technological knowledge.”

Missouri ranks high in radon danger but still lacks statewide regulation

COLUMBIA — A week before closing on a house in March, Jenn Trentham received the results from a home inspection test for radon, something she knew little about. The house she was about to buy, as it turned out, was above the safe level for radon.

"I kind of panicked," Trentham said. "I didn't know anything about radon."

About 25 percent of buildings in Boone County are estimated to be above this dangerous 4.0 pCi/L level.

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Elevated radon levels detected at Camas City Hall

An exercise room in the basement of Camas City Hall was closed last week after testing revealed a high level of radon gas.

City Administrator Pete Capell confirmed that the elevated amount of radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, was discovered during an annual air quality check. On May 1, the city received a report from Cascade Radon, Inc., stating that the reading was 8.0 pCi/L (picocuries of radiation per liter of air).

According to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, to be safe levels of radon must be below 4.0 pCi/L. Readings of 1.3 pCi/L are the indoor national average. Levels of 4.0 pCi/L is considered ‘action level,’ indicating the need to retest or fix the building.

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Radon causes 100 lung cancer deaths in Utah every year

Radiation is seeping into many Utah homes and most families don't even know it. For some, by the time they find out it's too late. They learn about radon gas after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lisa Jacobs is living with lung cancer. "It was so confusing because my body had never told me that something was wrong." She was diagnosed in 2012. "Full body scans on Wednesday, showed up at the doctor's Thursday morning, they said you have stage 4 lung cancer and I said 'You're kidding right?'"

You see, Lisa has never been a smoker. "I had not been sick," said Jacobs. "I had been working full time. I was helping coach my daughter's competitive soccer team. I was working out with my girls, no cough, no anything."

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