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radon contamination

Radon danger found in Montana homes

Montana is famous for its geology. Our vast valleys and towering mountains are some of the reasons we love living here. However, because of that geology, more than 50 percent of the buildings and homes tested in Missoula contain dangerous levels of radon.

The good news is that testing for radon is easy. Inexpensive test kits can be obtained at the Missoula City-County Health Department. The test kits are easy to use and include instructions and a prepaid envelope for mailing to a lab for analysis.

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Is radon in Utah schools? KSL investigates

HOLLADAY — A silent killer may be lurking in Utah schools, but districts aren't required to test for it. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that seeps up from the ground. Health officials say it is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Many Utahns have tested their homes and found high levels of radon, but what's going on in our schools?

To find out, the KSL Investigators teamed up with radon technicians and district officials to test six elementary schools in the City of Holladay: Cottonwood Elementary, Crestview Elementary, Howard R. Driggs Elementary, Morningside Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, and Spring Lane Elementary.

Armed with more than 200 charcoal test kits, Radovent technicians set out samples in every office, classroom, and space frequently occupied by teachers, students and staff.

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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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Slovaks lack radon awareness

A NATURALLY-OCCURRING radioactive gas that leaks from the ground has become an invisible killer due to changes in home construction and lifestyles, and it disproportionately threatens children. Despite European Union rules that oblige member states to improve policies to deal with radon, the gas in question, there appears to be little interest in the issue in Slovakia.

“Officers should measure levels of radon but they do not,” Juraj Vaník from AG&E, a company which conducts radon measurement, told The Slovak Spectator. “The legislation addresses ionisation from subsoil. Sadly no officer from any village’s municipality connects it with radon; it is outside their technological knowledge.”

Missouri ranks high in radon danger but still lacks statewide regulation

COLUMBIA — A week before closing on a house in March, Jenn Trentham received the results from a home inspection test for radon, something she knew little about. The house she was about to buy, as it turned out, was above the safe level for radon.

"I kind of panicked," Trentham said. "I didn't know anything about radon."

About 25 percent of buildings in Boone County are estimated to be above this dangerous 4.0 pCi/L level.

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Elevated radon levels detected at Camas City Hall

An exercise room in the basement of Camas City Hall was closed last week after testing revealed a high level of radon gas.

City Administrator Pete Capell confirmed that the elevated amount of radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, was discovered during an annual air quality check. On May 1, the city received a report from Cascade Radon, Inc., stating that the reading was 8.0 pCi/L (picocuries of radiation per liter of air).

According to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, to be safe levels of radon must be below 4.0 pCi/L. Readings of 1.3 pCi/L are the indoor national average. Levels of 4.0 pCi/L is considered ‘action level,’ indicating the need to retest or fix the building.

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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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Families struggle with radon in military housing

Marine Col. Anthony White had already lost a kidney to cancer that doctors attributed to living on Camp Lejeune, N.C., where thousands were sickened by contaminated water for more than three decades. So when he found out in 2011 that his home at Okinawa’s Plaza housing area had exposed him and his family to elevated levels of radon, White took action.

He discovered the problem after watching workers install a radon mitigation system at a nearby house that had been vacated by a family leaving Okinawa. He recognized the system from his home in Virginia, where, as in most of the United States, elevated radon levels are a required disclosure upon sale or rental of a home.

On Okinawa, all housing falls under Kadena Air Base and Air Force radon regulations. Kadena’s rules have required that radon levels be five times higher than the EPA action level before a home will be fixed, when funding has been available.

Does Radioactive Gas Lurk in your Home?

A tasteless, colorless, invisible killer can be detected in one in four houses in the Portland metro area. Its name is radon, a radioactive gas, and experts say the time to test for it is now.

“I don’t want to sit here 30 years later from now and learn my husband has cancer,” says Ella Vining, a mother of two from Southeast Portland.

Her husband’s office is in the basement of their home, and an initial radon test showed moderate levels of the radioactive gas in the basement.

Basements are usually the key site of exposure, because radon seeps in from the soil below.

A research team led by Portland State University geology professor Scott Burns, which tracks radon exposure levels statewide, updated its previous maps in January, based on a surge of new data derived from test results from 33,000 homes. The new data enabled the team to map out levels of radon by ZIP code across the state.