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Radon Awareness: An Opportunity to Save Lives

Tuesday, January 24th by Tim Snyder


The popularity of TV crime dramas like Law and Order is easy to understand. With each episode, we get to see how detectives, investigators and prosecuting attorneys (the good guys) battle to defeat a wide variety of criminals, overcoming numerous obstacles along the way.

What homeowners may not realize is that they also have the opportunity to save lives right in their own homes. To do so, it's necessary to complete some forensic work that's just as scientific as the tests performed in a CSI episode. By having your house tested for radon, you can unmask a silent, invisible killer responsible for some 21,000 deaths a year in the U.S.

Radon gas emanates naturally from the uranium in soil and rock, and is present everywhere on earth. The gas is odorless, invisible and radioactive; it's this last quality that poses a serious cancer threat. Exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Although radon concentrations vary due to geological variation, the risks associated with radon exposure are severe enough to make radon testing crucial no matter where you live. Homeowners can perform their own radon tests using inexpensive test kits available from hardware stores, home centers and online sources. Alternatively, it's possible to contact a licensed radon mitigation contractor and have the contractor perform the test.

If high actionable concentrations of radon are identified in your home, don't worry. This killer is easy to disarm. An experienced radon abatement contractor can install an abatement system that will exhaust radon gas harmlessly into the atmosphere outside your house.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month. With winter temperatures gripping many parts of the country, this is a time when windows and doors remained closed, allowing radon concentrations to rise. If you or your neighbors haven't tested your house for radon, now is a good time. Don't let this lethal gas claim another casualty.

If you don't know what your home's radon level is call a radon mitigation contractor in your area for a radon test. If your home tests high for radon they will be will be able to install an abatement system that exhausts radon gas harmlessly into the atmosphere away from your house.

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