As of January 1, 2013, the Ohio EPA instituted changes to its radon program to promote outreach and awareness. In an effort to better educate the local real estate professionals on new rule changes my company has made contact with more than 300 real estate agents and company representatives to brief them on the impacts of these rules on their practices and organizations.
A number of agents who have been through the radon education seminars we provide have until now shown little interest. With the onset of the new rules and our explanations and outreach, interest in radon during the month of January 2013 has peaked tremendously. Our company has two licensed radon professionals on staff and in recent weeks have held multiple meetings with various local companies anxious to learn.
There is an awareness and a need for more education in the real estate industry that is typically responsible for 80 percent of the radon tests performed in the U.S.
State Senator Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin) announced Thursday grants totaling more than $1.9 million have been awarded by the Ohio Department of Health to county health agencies within the 26th Ohio Senate District.
"These grants will allow county health agencies to provide health services for important issues such as lead poisoning and radon, which are often overlooked in many communities but can have devastating health consequences," Gillmor stated in a news release. "I commend the efforts of all of these agencies in working to keep Ohio families and children safe and healthy."
The Seneca County Health Department has been awarded a $54,000 grant for childhood lead prevention and a $50,500 grant for indoor radon education and outreach.
"We appreciate so much of what (Sen. Gillmor) does," said Health Commissioner Marjorie Broadhead. "All of these are wonderful programs."
Two decades ago, Tom and Ann Morgan build a home in Triadelphia large enough for their four children to grow up in a quiet, safe area.
But they didn't know about the hidden danger right inside their home: radon.
"It was by chance that we discovered we had a problem," Tom Morgan said. "I basically exposed my family to a health hazard that I wasn't even aware of."
Radon is a gas that is a byproduct of natural material breakdown in the environment. It can come from underground and seep into homes without people like the Morgans even knowing it.
Lock Johnson of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department said there are many avenues where radon gas can enter a building, such as cracks in pipes. He said homeowners need to take action at a level of four pico curies per liter or higher. The Morgans basement tested at 87.
Higher levels have been detected in Pennsylvania and in West Virginia's northern panhandle, likely because of the terrain.