January is National Radon Awareness Month. Not sure what exactly radon is? Let me give you a quick rundown with the help of my mold guy David Goulding of Ensign Building Solutions:
Radon is a Class A carcinogen that can cause lung cancer.
You can’t see, smell, or taste radon.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe.
“Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building — homes, offices, and schools — and can result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home where you spend most of your time.
“Building a tight home results in greater energy efficiency. But the tighter the home, the more important it is to properly ventilate and accommodate for the possibility of high levels of radon. In Georgia, homes above the Piedmont are more likely to have high levels of radon.”
In fact the counties with the highest concentrations of radon are Gwinnett, DeKalb, Fulton, and Cobb.
Radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 deaths per year. To give you a little perspective, drunk driving is the cause of about 11,000 deaths per year.
While radon is virtually everywhere, a simple at-home test can determine the levels of radon in your home.
You can get a 3-7 day radon test kit for anywhere from $10 to $50, and a 90 test kit for a little more. I would recommend the 90 day kit as you will be getting a better understanding if radon is a problem in your home.
Goulding goes on to say; “If dangerous levels of radon are found in your home, the best way to fix, or mitigate radon levels is to install a professional radon reduction system. A radon reduction system is any system or steps designed to reduce radon concentrations in the indoor air of a building. While most components are common, no two systems are identical. Systems must be customized to the needs of your home.”
This system is not really a DIY project, but there are professionals in the metro area that can do the work.
Test your house every 2 years and keep a log.
Radon is a silent killer. Know where your home stands.