A dangerous gas called radon could be a serious threat to your home.
Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and it's responsible for 21,000 deaths each year. That's more fatalities than those caused from drunk driving.
News 5's Dara Newson spoke with Energy Pioneer Solutions today on what they're trying to do to keep homes in and around Hastings safe.
Watch the video here: http://www.khastv.com/news/local/Radon-PKG-140258063.html
High levels of radon have been found in over 50 percent of Nebraska homes. When News 5 spoke with Kevin Burlew, the Project manager for Energy Pioneer, he said their recommending that all homes in Hastings and surrounding areas receive a radon measurement.
You can't see, smell or taste it. But, at any given time this lurking odorless gas could seep right through the cracks, holes or leaks in basements of your home.
In case you didn’t know, it’s Radon Awareness Week — which is no World Environment Day, true, but is gaining ground.
In honor of this momentous quasi-occasion, here’s a primer on the dangers of exposure to radon and how to protect yourself and your family.
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct of uranium decay, that becomes dangerous when it builds up in your home. Despite scary headlines about granite countertops giving off radon – The New York Times once asked, “What’s Lurking in Your Countertop?” — the greatest risk by far is emissions from the soil underneath your house coming up into the house itself. There is a high likelihood of radon in Iowa and in the Appalachian Mountains, due to the geology of those areas, but it can occur in any of the 50 states. (Click here for the EPA’s map of radon zones).
When the home they were selling tested higher than the EPA safe limit level on radon, Jacqueline and Jeffrey Spinks of Boylston said they would fix the problem.
A test on the Spinks’ 20-year-old Colonial-style house in June had shown a reading of 6.5 picocuries per liter, which had increased from the 3.9 pCi/L they had measured when they bought the house four years ago. The Environmental Protection Agency safe limit level is 4 pCi/L.
The Spinks were willing to mitigate the radon, but their buyers backed out.
They installed a system with Eagle Environmental, a certified radon mitigation firm in West Boylston, which brought the radon concentration down to 0.4 pCi/L, but the buyers “didn’t want to take a chance,” Mrs. Spinks said.
“Everybody knows if you have a house in Massachusetts, you’re going to have a radon level,” Mrs. Spinks said.
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Important Dates to Note:
September 15, 2011 - Deadline for Early Bird Symposium Registration Discount
Radon exceeding EPA limits has been discovered in Florida homes and condos. Several independent studies have concluded the source is contaminated concrete.
"You probably thought radon was only found in northern states with rocky soil, well guess again because it’s being discovered in homes and condos all over Florida," according to Kevin Dickenson, a Palm Beach real estate agent with Prudential Florida Realty.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for more deaths every year than drunk drivers, according to the EPA. Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless and colorless radioactive gas that can be found in soil, granite, concrete and water. Before you get too excited, radon is also found in the air we breathe, and depending upon where you live, it can be as high as 0.75 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) according to Air Chek, Inc.
The EPA recommends fixing your home if radon levels are 4.0 pCi/L or higher.
Canada's engineers, architects and builders will get their first look later this month at what could be major revisions to the national building code.
Canadian Consulting Engineer is reporting this week in its online newsletter that the feds will introduce 800 technical changes covering the building code, the fire code and the plumbing code on November 29.
The codes were last updated in 2005.
Some of the changes will encompass public gathering spaces such as sports arenas and stadiums, churches, lecture halls and theaters.
There are changes earthquake design, air quality, radon protection, and water conservation, among others.