Radon :: 50 times deadlier than Carbon Monoxide

Did you know that January is National Radon Action Month? In 2002 I had my home tested for Radon before we bought it.. the results were good and repairs unnecessary. The information below is excerpted from an email message sent by my insurance agent.

Radon escapes naturally from soil as a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can seep through the foundation of your home and reach toxic levels. How toxic? Radon contributes to 21,000 lung-cancer deaths annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By comparison, carbon monoxide kills an average of 439 persons each year.

The EPA sets the maximum acceptable radon exposure at 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). However, because there's no "safe" level, the EPA recommends you take action when the level in your home reaches 2 pCi/L. Outdoor radon levels average about .4 pCi/L. You can test for radon two ways:
  • DIY tests. Buy radon test kits at home centers or through National Radon Program Services. Testing takes two days to a year in a closed-up house before you return the test to a laboratory for the results. Radon levels vary daily, so longer tests mean greater accuracy. Retest after making repairs.
  • Professional tests. A trained radon professional's electric monitor shows how radon levels fluctuate during the test period. Home buyers may trust professional tests more because they are performed independently of home sellers.
In general, treat radon reduction like any home improvement and obtain multiple bids before hiring a contractor. Fixing most radon problems costs $800 to $2,500, according to the National Radon Safety Board, one of two organizations maintaining lists of radon contractors. The National Environmental Health Association offers a list of questions to ask your radon contractor. The EPA has links to your state's radon control agency.

A good friend died a few months ago from lung cancer. He never smoked. He had worked from home for the past eight years. I know that they are testing his house. I wonder if his house had radon? A good reminder to get your house tested and know for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.