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  • Writer's pictureDavid George

RADON – Fact or Fantasy


Regardless of whether you’re in the process of buying a new home, or you’ve been in yours a while, someone might suggest you have the home tested for Radon gas. So, you might be wondering is Radon “FACT” or FANTASY?”

Let me assure you it is FACT!

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Surgeon General’s office reports Radon gas poising is the SECOND leading cause of lung cancer in the US and causes 20,000 + deaths every year. In other words, 13% of deaths caused by lung cancer are caused by – or contributed heavily to – Radon. And children are much more sensitive to radon exposure. Besides its effect on our lungs and respiratory system, it can also cause mutation in our chromosomes.

You might ask “What is Radon” and how is it “Measured?” Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible gas that is nine (9) times denser that air. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is resident in most soils. It easily passes through drywall (sheetrock); concrete, concrete blocks, mortar, insulation, paper, leather, paint etc. Radon gas has a half-life of 3.8 days after which it breaks down into lead and polonium atoms. In insufficient quantities there is no major health issues. However, in higher quantities and over a prolonged period…it will have a significant effect. Furthermore, that are no early warning signs or symptoms for Radon gas. Radon is measured in “Picocuries per Liter” of air. Its symbol, and dangerous levels of Radon gas is 4 pCi/L.

The EPA recognizes three (3) zones across the United States, and each State recognizes these same zones. Ohio has 88 counties and 53 (60%) of them are classified Zone 1 meaning they have the highest potential to have homes greater that 4pCo/L. Check our this helpful website: www.radonresources.com/directory/oh/ The State EPA does not require Radon testing...but it should be seriously considered during all real estate transactions. Beyond that the EPA recommends testing at least twice a year. Testing kits can be purchased at most hardware stores or big box retailers. Mitigation systems should always be installed by State licensed contractors.

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