Even though this is the last day of January, it is still important to note that it is National Radon Awareness month.
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, only behind tobacco smoke. It is responsible for a reported 21,000 deaths per year in the United States.
Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when naturally-occurring uranium in granite bedrock decays into radium. This radium then decays to radon, a colorless, odorless gas. Radon is not harmful outside, but it can build up to damaging levels inside a house.
All of North Georgia, especially the upper third of the state, is considered to be at a moderate to high radon risk.
In Columbia and Richmond counties, an average of 4 percent of the test kits come back with elevated levels of radon.
Radon enters homes through cracks and crevices in your foundation. The air pressure inside your home acts as a vacuum, helping to pull radon up from the soil beneath.
Radon gas is invisible and odorless. But it reveals itself in a deadly footprint it can leave behind -- lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and one in 15 homes in America is at risk from elevated levels of radon. January is National Radon Action Month and the perfect time to take action to protect you and your loved ones from this invisible killer.
Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. It occurs when uranium in the soil and rock underground breaks down to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that are inhaled and can cause lung cancer. Radon enters a home through cracks in the walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings, and can build up to dangerous concentrations.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is urging residents to test their homes for radon gas.
Radon gas is an odorless and invisible radioactive gas and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health officials estimate radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.
The DPH recommends residents test their homes for radon in the winter months because this is when it tends to build up indoors.
Residents can get a free radon testing kit by completing an online form on the DPH Radon Program website.
Kits can also be purchased from the American Lung Association of New England at 1-800-LUNG-USA or at a local hardware store.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that homes with radon levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L should be fixed. Homeowners should consider fixing homes with radon levels that are between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.
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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It almost sounds like the trailer for a B horror movie.
Cue scary music.
Deep voice: It could invade your home, and you won’t even know it. You can’t see it, smell it or hear it. And it could kill you.
The people at the American Lung Association and the Duluth Healthy Homes Partnership don’t want to scare anyone. But all of the above is true of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that happens to occur quite a bit in Minnesota.
How's the atmosphere in your home? We're not talking about the mood or décor – we're talking about the air, literally.
You probably don't think much about the air around you, but you spend hours breathing it every day, and it can be full of stuff you don't want in your lungs.
"Sometimes people overlook indoor air pollutants, which in some ways are very similar to outdoor air pollutants," said Hsin-Neng Hsieh, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
"The Environmental Protection Agency has published data saying that pollution in our buildings is two to five times greater than outdoors," said Daniel Kopec, an architect in Glen Ridge who teaches building systems and technology at the institute. "We're spending 90 percent of our time in buildings, so it's a huge problem."
With those warnings in mind, here are seven things you can do to breathe easier inside your four walls:
Test for Radon
Right around springtime four years ago, what Gail Orcutt thought were allergies turned out to be much worse.
“I found out I had lung cancer,” the Pleasant Hill resident said. “I’ve never smoked a day in my life.”
Her cancer didn’t come from cigarettes. Instead, the culprit was a colorless, odorless gas: radon.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation, claiming roughly 21,000 lives each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Orcutt, a retired teacher and lung-cancer survivor, made it her mission to educate people and raise awareness on the poisonous gas.
Now, after a recurrence of the cancer in August, and only a week out of chemotherapy, she is teaming with an elected official.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has been spearheading the push to create legislation that would require more testing for radon levels in the state, especially in schools. Braley has advocated in Congress for resources and support.
A recent study found high levels of a cancer-causing radioactive gas in homes throughout a four-county area that includes Sauk County.
Officials say the results of the study, conducted by the South Central Environmental Health Consortium, should convince more people to have their homes tested for radon.
“We just wanted people to know that there are high levels around here,” said Matt Kachel, an environmental health sanitarian with Sauk County who helped implement the study. “We think it’s a valuable thing to get your home tested.”
Radon is an odorless, invisible, and radioactive gas that naturally occurs in soil. It can seep into homes, and exposure to high levels over long periods of time can cause lung cancer.
From November through January, the consortium, which includes Sauk, Columbia, Juneau and Adams counties, provided free entry in a raffle contest to people who tested their homes for radon. An independent laboratory in Texas then analyzed 273 samples.
A Waterdown resident is urging the local school board and provincial government introduce mandatory testing in high risk areas for radon — the second leading cause of lung cancer among Canadians.
A colourless and odourless gas that is naturally produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, radon can seep through a crack in a building’s foundation.
Robert Graham has been in a two-year long battle with government officials to have testing done at school sites.
“I think the fear is if they test a few of the schools, especially the one-level schools, that if they found that they have high levels that everybody is going to panic,” he said. “It’s not to cause panic it’s just to see are kids still going to schools that may have this radon leakage problem - you don’t know unless you test.”
A grandfather to four children, Graham said the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has so far been mum on whether it will test some of its facilities.
Downers Grove is updating its building code to include new state rules aimed at reducing radon in new construction.
The Village Council recently approved a mandate that all new residences in town must be built with "passive radon resistant construction," in line with a state law passed in June.
Community Development Director Tom Dabareiner said the law was enacted in response to the growing consensus that radon poses significant health risks. The council approved the measure at its April 1 meeting with all in attendance voting in favor. Commissioners Sean P. Durkin and Geoff Neustadt were absent.
"There's a large portion of the state where there is a significant amount of radon that's found in the soil and then a couple of areas where it's medium," Dabareiner said.