Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Radon Action Month

January is National Radon Action Month. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. Unfortunately, many consumers – even homeowners – don’t know what radon is! In its most scientific sense, radon is the chemical element of atomic number 86, a rare radioactive gas belonging to the noble gas series. It’s colorless and odorless, and the reason it is hazardous to your health is due to its radioactivity. In fact, radon is responsible for the majority of exposure to ionizing radiation. Believe it or not, it can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas like attics and basements.

Depending on how a building is built and how it is ventilated, radon can accumulate in basements and dwellings. It can also come in through cracks in solid floors, construction joints, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around services pipes, cavities inside walls and the water supply.

The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urges all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.

According to the EPA’s website, there are four things you can do during national radon action month:
  1. Test your home - EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive
  2. Attend a National Radon Action Month event in your area - Look for radon events in your community. Contact your state radon program for more information about local radon activities.
  3. Spread the word and spend time during National Radon Action Month encouraging others to learn about radon and test their homes.
  4. Buy a radon-resistant home - If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction.
By educating yourself and following these tips, you can do your part to protect your family and your community from the dangers of radon. If you would like to check your home for radon, give your local HomeTeam Inspection Service a call. We would be happy to help you.

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