RadonLeaders.org
Skip top navigation

Homeowners

A New Radon Action Plan is Being Developed: But It Won’t Work Unless We All Get Involved

After nearly 30 years of operating since the passage of the 1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act, AARST has routinely notified policy makers that more Americans may be at risk from radon than ever before, despite years of government, non-government and industry effort to address radon risk reduction. In 2010, nine federal agencies came together to develop the Federal Radon Action Plan and to launch more than 30 new projects that promote radon action through three approaches:
• Testing for and mitigating high radon in buildings using professional radon services.
• Providing financial incentives and direct support where needed for radon risk reduction.
• Demonstrating the importance, feasibility and value of radon risk reduction.

Radon is on county’s radar: Gas mitigation may become required

Some essential pieces of a radon-mitigation system could be built into every new home when the new county building codes are approved.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas released by decaying uranium in rocks, and long-term exposure can cause lung cancer. The gas is common in La Plata County, but there is no way to test for it before a house is built. So the county may require parts of radon-ventilation systems be included in every home as part an updated building code, said Butch Knowlton, director of the building department.

Updates to the code could be ready for adoption in early 2016, he told the county commissioners.

“It’s easier to mitigate with new home construction than it is to go back in an existing home and try to retrofit,” Knowlton said.

Radon requirements for buildings already have been adopted by many Colorado towns and counties, said Wendy Rice, a consumer science agent for the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

Atlanta homes built with radioactive concrete

An entire condo building in metro Atlanta was built with radioactive concrete, according to an inspection report obtained by the 11Alive Investigators. It's a relatively new phenomenon where radon inspectors and remediation companies are finding the gas emanating not just from the soil but also from building materials.

Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that claims more than 20,000 lives a year, according to Environmental Protection Agency. As radioactive particles decay in the lungs, they can cause lung cancer. The EPA estimates 7,000 of the people who die from radon-induced lung cancer are non-smokers. In fact it's considered the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

"Your entire life, you're accumulating a dose exposure," said Matt Koch with Southern Radon Reduction. Casual exposure isn't a problem, but living with elevated levels of radon in your home for years can be deadly.

Standout Student: Pascal Acree studies radon levels

Last year when Riverwood International Charter School student Pascal Acree was a sophomore in Honors Chemistry, he did his science fair project on the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in homes. This year, as a junior, he took it to the next level — making a poster and presenting at the international Radon Symposium in Charleston, SC.

He said he was inspired to do the project because of radon test results in his own home.

“My science project examined the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in a home,” Pascal said. “I was motivated to pursue this because a radon test had recently been performed in our house.

Canada’s Largest-Ever Home Radon Testing Results Released

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.

Radon turns family's dream home into nightmare

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -You can't see it, smell it or taste it, but it kills 20,000 people each year, and there's a good chance Radon is in your home.

Radon is a radioactive gas that lurks under millions of homes in the United States. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer.

One family in Bellevue found out the hard way just how dangerous it can be. They also learned getting rid of it can be costly.

Ed Petterson and his wife Jane thought they had bought that perfect home in Bellevue four months ago.

“We wanted something quiet, serene and out of the way, and it had a nice view and good acoustics,” said Petterson.

But it wasn't long before their dream home turned into a nightmare.

“I started to get some symptoms, really heavy ringing in my ear and my brain and sinuses,” said Petterson. “We forgot to test for Radon and we tested for radon and boom it was off the charts. That went anywhere from a low of 417 to 537.”

Home testing for radon is encouraged

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.

To read more: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/health/3656011-home-testing-radon-encouraged

Radon Action Month in Illinois: What Are the Levels in Your Home?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Radon is the most significant health risk homeowners face, and this month state leaders are encouraging residents to test their homes for the dangerous gas.

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, nearly 1,200 citizens die annually from radon-related lung cancer. Patrick Daniels, radon program manager at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, says now is the best time of the year to check the radon levels inside a home.

"We want to test homes under what we call 'closed house conditions,'" says Daniels. "Being as cold as it is we tend to keep our windows and doors shut and homes closed up and pretty tight so it just makes it a good time to test."

Test kits range in price from $10 to $30, and can be purchased at a local hardware store or online. Daniels says it's recommended that homeowners who are involved in a real estate transaction hire a licensed professional to test the home for radon.

Suburban School's Radon Report Sparks Concern

Parents are expressing concerns after a suburban school released radon test results that showed some classroom levels far exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
With some classrooms more than eight times the recommended levels from the EPA, officials at Pleasantdale Elementary in LaGrange say they’re looking into how they can reduce radon levels in the school.

The levels were elevated in 15 classrooms, according to the release. One classroom recorded levels at 34.8 pCi/L- nearly eight times the EPA guidelines. An office was at 25.3 and another classroom was at 12.4.

Read the article online:
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Suburban-Schools-Radon-Report-Sparks-Concern-279380642.html

Free Radon Testing in a Michigan Town

For Radon Awareness Week Health Department #4 in Alpena wants citizens to be aware of the dangers of radon.

The department will be providing free radon test kits starting October 20th until the 24th.

Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that is very dangerous. It's also one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States.

The gas is able to seep into homes through gaps and cracks in the foundation and insulation.

"And it's everywhere, it's all over the United States, it's here in Alpena," said Health Department Representative Cathy Goike. "It doesn't matter if it's a new home, or an old home. You can find radon gas anywhere because it comes from the soil and it seeps into your home"

The test kits the health department is providing are easy to use and provide results in two weeks that state if your home tested positive or negative for radon.

Those interested can pick up their free test between October 20th and the 24th.