A University of Louisville School of Nursing researcher has found that the presence of children in the home did not motivate parents to test and mitigate for radon and secondhand tobacco smoke, both of which cause lung cancer. The findings highlight a need to raise awareness on these exposure risks and their long-term impact on children.
Read more here.
Real estate is all about location, location, location – and in more ways than one. As scientific research grows more sophisticated about naturally occurring toxins that are harmful to people’s health in large doses, what's in the soil beneath your home becomes an important part of that location concern as well.
Radon is one gas gaining significant attention in real estate transactions, as the National Radon Safety Board estimates nearly 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. have elevated radon levels – above the federally recommended 4 picocuries per liter of air, a unit of measurement for radioactivity.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends all homeowners test their home’s radon level, as radon is now reported as the second leading cause of lung cancer in Americans, after smoking. As awareness of the dangers of radon exposure increases, the EPA also advises testing a home's radon levels before buying or selling it.
N.H. Realtors, DES agree to loosen radon warning guidelines
By ALLIE MORRIS
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.
"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.
Radon is one of the scariest things that can turn up in a house. It's the second most common cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and kills an estimated 500 New Jerseyans a year, experts say.
Despite the risk, most people think about radon only when it's time to buy or sell a home, when buyers request that the house be tested for the colorless, odorless gas. But experts say homeowners should check for it even if they're not planning to move.
The remediation system travels out the roof in this Oradell home. The gas is the result of the natural breakdown of radioactive material in the ground and can be hazardous when trapped inside a house.
A remediation system traveling up through the basement floor.
"We don't want people to just wait till they're selling their home to fix radon problems," says Kevin Stewart, director of environmental health of the American Lung Association in New Jersey.
How to test a home
It's silent, invisible, and a major cause of cancer. In addition, a surprising number of houses in the St. Louis area have too much of it, according to recent test figures.
Many Missouri home owners don't know about radon, or it’s risk, until it's too late. And state politicians aren't doing much to fix the problem.
“Seems like someone should have brought it up before. I don't want to end up dying from lung cancer,” said Wentzville homeowner Brian Hunsicker.
There's something in Brian and Joanne Hunsicker's home steadily stealing years from their lives. It’s cancer- caused by an odorless, radioactive gas called radon. It seeps out of the soil and into many homes across Missouri and the nation.
“Radon is responsible for about 21,000 deaths each year,” said Dr. Bill Field, an internationally-acclaimed Radon expert.
In fact, Field says, radon is the number two cause of lung cancer in the U.S...a surprise for many of its victims.
In Maryland, home sellers who know that their homes have elevated radon levels are required to disclose that information to prospective buyers. However, at present, home sellers have no duty to measure the radon levels in their homes.
That could change in Montgomery County if the County Council approves a controversial bill that would mandate radon testing.
Bill 31-15, sponsored by Council members Craig Rice (D-Upcounty) and Sidney Katz (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), would require home sellers to test their homes for radon and provide the results to prospective home buyers before entering a sales contract. If the bill is enacted, Montgomery County would become the only jurisdiction in the country to mandate radon testing.
Read more here.
The unusually hot, dry summer is increasing more than just the wildfire danger.
Some experts say it may be increasing the amount of radon gas inside your home.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the earth. You can’t see it or smell it, but it is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
And while experts say we usually see increased levels of the gas in homes in the wintertime, the dry conditions this summer may also be channeling radon into homes.
“You get drier soils under houses and buildings and that can open up channels, of course dry soils are more porous than damp soil so you can actually have a stronger flow of radon under a building up into it,” said Steve Tucker with Cascade Radon.
Tucker also says opening upstairs windows to bring in the fresh air, something a lot of people do in the summer, can also increase the flow of radon into a home.
That's because radon is driven by both air flow and air pressure inside a home.
A home buyer recently wrote to the Washington Post about how, in their professional home inspection, the inspector found they had a faulty garage door and high levels of radon. It was advised that they cancel the contract based on the garage door. But instead of focusing on an early repairable garage door, wouldn’t the high radon levels have also enabled the buyers to cancel the sale?
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that permeates through the ground in some areas. If you breathe in too much of it, it can cause a lot of physical problems, especially in young children, who may experience all sorts of physical and developmental issues.
Professional home inspectors don’t generally test for radon, but almost every home buyer should have a test done. These tests often include leaving some sort of collection device at the home for a short period of time and then sending the device to a lab to have the results read.
The BC Lung Association on January 26, 2015, released the results of the largest ever community-wide home radon testing project done in Canada. Getting more British Columbians to test their homes for radon – the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – is a priority for the BC Lung Association. As is ensuring people know how to mitigate a radon problem, if one exists.
During winter 2014, radon test kits were distributed to more than 2000 homes in Prince George and 230 homes in Castlegar and surrounding areas – two areas of the province known to have elevated levels of indoor radon.
Measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends home radon levels not exceed a safety threshold of 200 (Bq/m3).On average, one in three Prince George homes and one in two Castlegar homes tested above Health Canada’s suggested safety threshold.