National Radon Action Month – January

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According to the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas and is continuously created by natural breakdown of metals in soils. Radon gas occurs naturally in the environment and is not caused by any man-made force.  Any home in any state may have a radon problem.  Radon gas accumulates in basements and on lower floors.
Due to the stack effect, air from the basement enters the whole home and it is said that approximately 40-60% of the air that is breathed in the home comes up from the basement and/or crawlspace.  If your basement or crawlspace is contaminated with radon, it will migrate throughout the whole home.

Radon is a health hazard with a few simple solutions:

  • Test your home for radon!  You can purchase a test kit and do it yourself or you can hire a radon expert. Many state agencies give out kits – check with your state’s environmental protection department.
  • Minimize the entry of radon gas into your home by
    • Sealing cracks in the foundation and along the basement walls, floors, or molding.
    • Cover all crawl spaces with a heavy polyethylene barrier and seal it to the foundation wall.
    • If you have an open sump pump and/or floor drain, be sure to close the sump pit and floor drains.

Visit the EPA’s Radon site to learn more.