The EPA is getting serious about radon and wants to broadcast the importance of testing your home for the presence of this odorless, colorless, cancer-causing gas. Janet, McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, wants you to know that radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking, claiming about 21,000 victims each year in America. The important point to drive home here is that these deaths are preventable through a simple test.
The U.S. Surgeon General stated that, on average, one in every 15 homes across the nation is plagued with dangerously high levels of radon gas in the indoor environment. Those exposed to such a harmful environments run a higher risk of contracting lung cancer.
This naturally occurring gas seeps out of rocks, soil, and water, up through foundation cracks, holes, and porous surfaces, and into the interiors of homes like yours. If radon seeps into the interior of a home, especially during cold months when doors and windows are normally closed, it accumulates to high levels. That poses an increased risk to all who breathe the air.
Since the gas easily escapes detection, with neither color nor odor, the best way to determine its presence is by measuring. Many people purchase kits in hardware stores or from online sources. Others select a professional to perform the tests. Other options include digital testing equipment that records levels over time, and can be reused at any time to test levels in any building of concern.
If test results indicate, modifications can be made to reduce radon levels inside the home. Many homes can be easily modified to redirect the gas from under the home away from the foundation. Others may require fans or additional equipment. All will end in safer environments for those that spend time inside the home.
If you have questions about radon and the dangerous cancer-causing gas that is needlessly taking so many lives, go to the EPA website Radon page. Questions about radon, testing, mitigation, and other details related to radon gas exposure are answered, and resources are referenced to help you take steps to make your home safe.
Putting a radon test on your 2016 calendar, early in the year while it is still cold and doors and windows remain closed, is an important task that could save lives. While testing is possible any time of year, winter months give the most accurate results.
Clearing the air of radon gas will give you peace of mind. There is reassurance in knowing that you've taken the most effective steps to safeguard your home and protect your loved ones from this unnecessary risk. Spreading the word to your neighbors could also save a friend.