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radon in Pennsylvania

Separating fact from fiction concerning radon

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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Rise of deadly radon gas in Pennsylvania buildings linked to fracking industry

A new study published Thursday reported a disturbing correlation between unusually high levels of radon gas in mostly residences and an oil and gas production technique known as fracking that has become the industry standard over the past decade.

Writing in the journal Environmental Health Perspective, researchers analyzed levels of radon — a colorless, odorless gas that is radioactive and has been linked to lung cancer — in 860,000 buildings from 1989 to 2013. They found that those in the same areas of the state as the fracking operations generally showed higher readings of radon. About 42 percent of the readings were higher than what is considered safe by federal standards. Moreover, the researchers discovered that radon levels spiked overall in 2004, at about the same time fracking activity began to pick up.

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Pennsylvania DEP Encourages Students to Enter National Radon Poster Contest

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 11, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection today urged Pennsylvania students, ages nine to 14, to enter a national poster contest designed to help raise awareness about the dangers of radon. The deadline to enter is Nov. 2.

"This is a great way to educate students and their families about the dangers of radon," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "I encourage all eligible students to participate, get creative and talk with their families about the importance of testing for radon in their homes and taking the easy and inexpensive steps to remedy if it is found."

Radon exposure causes nearly 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, and nearly half of Pennsylvania homes have elevated radon levels.

ALAPA Partners Offering Free Radon Test Kits

The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania (ALAPA) has introduced a new program to help people protect their health from lung-cancer-causing radon gas. The lung health agency identified three regions of the Commonwealth with generally lower testing rates and generally higher likelihood of high radon levels. ALAPA today unveiled its plan to promote radon testing among residents in the first region, lying mainly in the northeastern quadrant of the state.

In the first year of an envisioned three-year program, ALAPA will conduct outreach in nine counties, including Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Lycoming.

In addition to their nationally recognized smoking cessation and asthma education programs, the American Lung Association announced today that they would be providing free radon test kits to the public through the following three main activities:

Officials: Threat of Radon High in State

There are a number of concerns when buying or owning a home, but the state Department of Environmental Protection is hoping homeowners pay attention to a specific odorless and radioactive gas -- radon.

Bob Lewis, the program manager for DEP’s Radon Division, finds that most people don’t really think of radon, even though Pennsylvania residents should worry about the levels in their home.

“Pennsylvania could be one of the worst states in the country,” Lewis said. “There’s a handful of states that show high levels of radon, and we’re up there. I think about 49 of the 67 counties in the state are EPA zoned 1 counties. It’s just a characteristic of our geography. It’s easy for gas to migrate through the ground.”