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Our View: Don't Wait for Legislature to Require Radon Testing

In 2007, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring all new homes to be built with radon mitigation systems. Rep. Kim Norton, then a first-term DFLer from Rochester, was the legislation's chief author, and since then, six other states, including Illinois, Michigan and Oregon, have followed Minnesota's lead.

There was good reason for Norton and Minnesota to take this step. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, killing 21,000 Americans each year. It seeps in through cracks in basement walls, floors and foundations, and Minnesota (especially Olmsted County) has some of the highest radon levels in the nation. About 40 percent of homes tested in Minnesota are found to have radon levels that are high enough to require a mitigation system that pipes the gas out of the house.

Obviously, the best time to install such a system is while a home is being built and definitely before the basement is finished.

EPA Working to Make Public Aware of Radon Risk in Homes

DALLAS -- When she first settled into her Dallas home six years ago, Kimberly Stokes asked if she should test for radon.

She said she was told she didn't need to worry about it.

That’s a starkly different answer than the one you get from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which estimates that radon kills as many as 20,000 Americans each year through lung cancer.

“Never smoked a day in their life, got lung cancer and, unfortunately, died because of that,” said George Brozowski, the EPA’s regional radon coordinator in Dallas.

The EPA has been trying to educate the public with a radon campaign, with commercials that warn viewers that radon is the number-one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Despite the effort, many are still unaware of the risk.

Washington: Radon – Stopping the Silent Killer

There may be a silent killer lurking in your home.

The killer is the colorless, tasteless and odorless gas, radon, which causes an estimated 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year. Radon is emitted from the ground and enters a home through cracks in walls, basements, floors and other openings. Only smoking causes more lung cancer. That invisible threat is why the American Lung Association applauded the recent announcement by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that it is taking steps to protect families from exposure to this dangerous culprit.

HUD will begin to require testing for this radioactive, natural gas in any multi-family house that has been financed or refinanced by the HUD. If tests indicate that unsafe levels of radon exist, the building will be repaired to reduce the radon to safer levels.

MDH: Radioactive gas is persistent health risk

Every 25 minutes, one person in the U.S. dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable.

More than 40 percent of Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas and state health officials say every home should be tested. To emphasize the importance of radon testing, Gov. Mark Dayton has declared January “Radon Action Month” in Minnesota. More than 40 local public health agencies around the state have partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to make more than 8,000 radon test kits available to local residents at low or no cost. For details on how to obtain a kit, contact your local public health agency or MDH. A list of participating health agencies can be found on the MDH website at www.health.state.mn.us.

Radon Primer: How to Test Your Home For It, and Make Fixes If Needed

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.

Landlords Favor New Radon Law

Maine legislators will consider repealing and replacing a nearly four-year-old law that required radon gas testing and mitigation in rental housing but has yet to be enforced.

Sen. Rodney Whittemore, R-Skowhegan, has submitted a less stringent bill that would eliminate mandatory testing for the radioactive gas in rentals. It would require landlords to notify current and prospective tenants only if they know a rental property has a radon hazard that hasn't been mitigated.

Leaders of landlord groups across Maine support LD 328. Meeting the mandates of the existing law is too expensive, they say, costing as much as $150 to test and $3,000 to mitigate some buildings.

They also say the law is unfair because the state doesn't require radon testing for owner-occupied, single-family homes.

Bill Would Require Iowa Schools to Test for Radon

Bill Would Require Iowa Schools to Test for Radon

DES MOINES -- A Des Moines legislator is backing a bill requiring all Iowa school districts to test for the cancer-causing gas radon and make buildings safe if the gas is found.

Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy filed the bill this week, noting the prevalence of radon in Iowa. All of Iowa's 99 counties lie in the EPA's highest risk zone for exposure to the colorless, odorless gas that leaks through cracks in building foundations.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

"We have to get serious that Iowa is a high-risk state," McCoy said. "We can't ignore it any longer."

The bill is similar to national legislation filed recently by Iowa Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.

McCoy's proposal would require all public and nonpublic districts to test every room of each school. If high levels of radon are found, districts would have to hire a state-certified specialist who would install a ventilation system to make buildings safe.

Briggs Wants Testing for Radon Gas in Schools

State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, is reintroducing legislation that would require radon testing in schools, as well as educate and inform parents and guardians of the levels of radon gas in their child’s classroom.

Briggs said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is doing public outreach this month as part of National Radon Action Month, warning residents about the dangers of radon gas. He said his legislation calling for school testing matches DEP Secretary Mike Krancer’s message to homeowners – that radon gas is present in nearly half of all Pennsylvania homes; that it can be deadly; that everyone needs to test their homes for radon; and that a radon problem can be "easily and inexpensively" fixed.

Radon is Seen as a Leading Factor in Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

It's the number one killer for cancer, it's not breast cancer, colon cancer or even prostate cancer.

It's lung cancer.

The number of people who die ever year from lung cancer is more than those other cancers combined.

And while studies are still being done to provide a direct link, experts say radon is one of the leading factors in non-smokers getting lung cancer.

Apartment Building Testing

User photo for: bgeswein

I have been contacted by an environmental consulting firm asking for a quote to provide radon testing on two student housing sites. Site 1 has 19 buildings with 137 units, Site 2 has 21 buildings with 219 units. I am primarily a residential tester/mitigator and am looking for any advice as to how to go about bidding this. I did ask how extensive of testing they were wanting i.e.. one test per building or every ground unit. Their answer was they did not know but to supply a quote for both ways. If anyone can give me any suggestions on pricing, type of test kits best used(I normally use CRM's), and any other pertinent info on this matter I would greatly appreciate it.

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