The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $10.5 million in grants designed to protect children and other vulnerable groups from health hazards in their homes. This funding highlights the link between housing and health and develops cost effective methods for mitigating residential hazards. HUD’s grants are being awarded to academic and non-profit research institutions studying new methods to recognize and control residential health and safety hazards such as asthma triggers, bed bugs, mold and radon. Read a complete project-by-project summary of the programs awarded grants today.
A tasteless, colorless, invisible killer can be detected in one in four houses in the Portland metro area. Its name is radon, a radioactive gas, and experts say the time to test for it is now.
“I don’t want to sit here 30 years later from now and learn my husband has cancer,” says Ella Vining, a mother of two from Southeast Portland.
Her husband’s office is in the basement of their home, and an initial radon test showed moderate levels of the radioactive gas in the basement.
Basements are usually the key site of exposure, because radon seeps in from the soil below.
A research team led by Portland State University geology professor Scott Burns, which tracks radon exposure levels statewide, updated its previous maps in January, based on a surge of new data derived from test results from 33,000 homes. The new data enabled the team to map out levels of radon by ZIP code across the state.
When news of elevated indoor-radon risk in the Portland area broke last month, I figured saying home test kits were "widely available" and briefly describing the typical fix would do the trick.
Wrong. The questions from readers, co-workers and neighbors keep coming in.
The risk is real -- radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after smoking -- though not astronomical. The Environmental Protection Agency figures 21,000 people a year, 18,000 smokers and 3,000 nonsmokers, die of lung cancer from exposure from radon, a radioactive gas drawn from soil into homes.
In support of National Radon Action Month 2012, Beverly Jo Carswell of Alabama’s Office of Radiation Control, Radon Program teamed up with certified radon mitigator George Brickley to educate Northern Alabama code officials. Ms. Carswell discussed the health issues associated with radon gas. Mr. Brickley provided information on the radon mitigation process and what radon codes could be adopted to reduce the radon health risk to occupants. The presentation was followed by a well-received question and answer session. Code officials asked insightful questions covering topics ranging from the electrical requirements of mitigation to the costs of running a radon fan.
The new code sets higher standards for insulation, radon gas mitigation and more in 34 communities.
Beginning next month, 34 Maine towns will enforce a new building code.
The code is called MUBEC, or Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code, and it sets higher standards for insulation, radon gas mitigation and much more, for newly built homes and commercial buildings.
The code also means higher costs for the builders who must comply with the code, and the towns that enforce it.
The code was originally passed by the state Legislature in 2008, and reworked in 2011. Towns with populations greater than 4,000 are required to adopt it -- 89 municipalities in all. Fifty-five of those communities have already adopted the code. The 34 holdouts have until July 1.
Watch this news segment.
So you've glanced over your home and addressed all the safety risks such as lead paint and asbestos, but what about the dangers you can't see.
Here we have a typical Sioux Empire basement...but something is lurking in the air you can't see or smell...and what makes this scene so scary is the fact that most people don't even know they have it...a radioactive gas called radon.
"Actually South Dakota know much this it's an up and coming thing that people are just now becoming aware of,"said Co-President of Radon Mitigation Systems, Mike Hartman.
So what is radon? Well, it's a by product of uranium decomposing in the soil . It's a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, but the most important thing you need to know...According to the EPA Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
If a house touches the ground, it's susceptible, inspector says
FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Brandon Smith started a radon inspection company of his own when the company for which he made heat-resistant wire closed down after 100 years in business.
Smith and his wife, who live in Battle Creek, Mich., opened their mom-and-pop business, Michigan Radon Agency, in 2005 and now test about 15 houses a week for radon.
"It's not an easy business to get into," Smith said. "You have to get trained, certified and licensed, and have all your business connections in place." And that includes real estate agents. "They're the ones recommending you, so you've got to know a lot of them," he said.
For his testing, which Smith said ranges from $75 to $150, electronic monitors are placed around a house and left for two weeks. He also takes an instant hour-by-hour readout for the homeowners. "It's always done in the basement, if it's livable," he said.
Some areas have higher concentration potential than others, but homes with elevated radon concentrations have been found in every county in Nevada.
Any building with contact to the soil can have a radon problem because radon comes from the decay of uranium, which can be found in rock and soil underneath our homes, offices and schools.
The good news is that radon levels are easy to test for and high levels can be lowered by a certified mitigator.
Results collected since 1989 show that about one in four Nevada homes have elevated radon levels, yet many homeowners have not tested for radon. This might be because radon is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas and there are no immediate adverse, visible effects.
Radon gas quietly enters homes through cracks in the floor, construction joints and gaps around service pipes.