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Students Invited to Make Radon Posters

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension invites Nevada students to showcase their artistic talents and promote radon awareness by entering the Nevada Radon Poster Contest.

The contest is open to all children ages 9 to 14 years old enrolled in public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense and home schools. Children can also enter through a sponsoring group, such as art, computer, library, reading, science, scouting, youth or 4-H clubs.

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the decay of uranium. It accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer. This type of lung cancer risk is preventable, and the only way to know if a home has elevated levels is to test for it.

Drought can increase radon gas risks

The severe drought baking some parts of the United States—particularly California and the Pacific Northwest—may be increasing the risk of radon gas inside homes.

s water tables drop in some areas, lower depths that can contain uranium and radon are exposed, according to experts. As the uranium ore decays over time, it produces radon, a radioactive gas that has been linked to lung cancer.

"What happens in drought conditions is the aquifers are getting lower and lower and exposing more bedrock and more uranium," said James Connell of A1 Radon in Olathe, Kansas. "Cracks in the ground and cracks in people's foundations allow those radon gases to come up."

Jeanne Case, who lives just outside Portland, Oregon, recently tested for radon at her home and it showed levels three times the safe limit. "It never even occurred to me ... I was so convinced we didn't have it," Case told NBC Portland affiliate KGW-TV.

Hot, Dry Summer may Increase Radon Flow in Your Home

The unusually hot, dry summer is increasing more than just the wildfire danger.

Some experts say it may be increasing the amount of radon gas inside your home.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the earth. You can’t see it or smell it, but it is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

And while experts say we usually see increased levels of the gas in homes in the wintertime, the dry conditions this summer may also be channeling radon into homes.

“You get drier soils under houses and buildings and that can open up channels, of course dry soils are more porous than damp soil so you can actually have a stronger flow of radon under a building up into it,” said Steve Tucker with Cascade Radon.

Tucker also says opening upstairs windows to bring in the fresh air, something a lot of people do in the summer, can also increase the flow of radon into a home.

That's because radon is driven by both air flow and air pressure inside a home.

Is detection of radon a reason to cancel a home sale?

A home buyer recently wrote to the Washington Post about how, in their professional home inspection, the inspector found they had a faulty garage door and high levels of radon. It was advised that they cancel the contract based on the garage door. But instead of focusing on an early repairable garage door, wouldn’t the high radon levels have also enabled the buyers to cancel the sale?

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that permeates through the ground in some areas. If you breathe in too much of it, it can cause a lot of physical problems, especially in young children, who may experience all sorts of physical and developmental issues.

Professional home inspectors don’t generally test for radon, but almost every home buyer should have a test done. These tests often include leaving some sort of collection device at the home for a short period of time and then sending the device to a lab to have the results read.

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.

Keny-Guyer Wins Resounding Approval for Radon Testing in Schools

The House voted 54-4 on Wednesday on a bill to get all schools in Oregon to test for radon by 2021.

House Bill 2931 will start the process by ordering the Oregon Health Authority to share its public health advice with schools about the hazards regarding radon. Each school district will then have to develop a plan for testing for the deadly element, and do so by the beginning of 2021.

“Radon is an odorless and invisible gas that seeps up through rock,” said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, the bill’s chief sponsor. “It’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer. … We want all schools to go through a testing process if they haven’t done so in the last 10 years.”

Radon is a naturally occurring gaseous element that leaks up from the ground in sporadic pockets across the state, from Scappoose to La Grande and east Portland to Salem. Radon inhalation kills 21,000 Americans each year. It is the easiest way to get lung cancer for non-smokers.

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.

Radon Tests Could Be Required Under New County Council Bill

A new bill introduced Tuesday, June 16, 2015, by the Montgomery County Council would mandate that local home sellers test for the radioactive gas radon and provide buyers with the results.

The intent of the bill is to help home buyers be aware of the existence of the gas, which can cause serious illnesses and often occurs in single-family homes in the county, according to a memo about the bill provided to council members. Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in rocks and soils and typically enters homes through cracks or other holes in the foundation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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.

Radon From Your Stove: Why New York Should Enact the No Radon in Natural Gas Legislation

Enjoying the spring air? Well, take a deep breath New York.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, resulting in 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.

So why am I mentioning this now? Well, recent research reported from scientists at Johns Hopkins reiterates the wisdom of legislation introduced by assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and senator Diane Savino mandating that all natural gas sold in New York must contain safe radon levels.

Joan A. Casey and her scientific team recently reported that radon levels in Pennsylvania have risen since hydraulic fracturing of natural gas commenced. The researchers said they "found a statistically significant association between proximity to unconventional natural gas wells drilled in the Marcellus shale and first floor radon concentration in the summer," suggesting "a pathway through outdoor ambient air."