Washington, DC – Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. Radon is a form of ionizing radiation and a proven carcinogen.
Cancer is scary and is often related to either smoking or Radon. During the month of January, EPA and health officials want you to make sure your home is free of radon, which is one of the leading causes of certain cancers. As a result of this the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. EPA estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related.
The Environmental Protection Agency rates Radon as the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and number two cause of lung cancer next to smoking. Because of this there are 21,000 deaths a year due to radon exposure.
Radon in air is ubiquitous. Radon is found in outdoor air and in the indoor air of buildings of all kinds. EPA recommends homes be fixed if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average radon concentration in the indoor air of America’s homes is about 1.3 pCi/L. It is upon this level that EPA based its estimate of 20,000 radon-related lung cancers a year upon. It is for this simple reason that EPA recommends that Americans consider fixing their homes when the radon level is between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average concentration of radon in outdoor air is .4 pCi/L or 1/10th of EPA’s 4 pCi/L action level.
The radon health risk is underscored by the fact that in 1988 Congress added Title III on Indoor Radon Abatement to the Toxic Substances Control Act. It codified and funded EPA’s then fledgling radon program. Also that year, the Office of
the U.S. Surgeon General issued a warning about radon urging Americans to test their homes and to reduce the radon level when necessary (U.S. Surgeon General).
Unfortunately, many Americans presume that because the action level is 4 pCi/L, a radon level of less than 4 pCi/L is “safe”. This perception is altogether too common in the residential real estate market. In managing any risk, we should be concerned with the greatest risk. For most Americans, their greatest exposure to radon is in their homes; especially in rooms that are below grade (e.g., basements), rooms that are in contact with the ground and those rooms immediately above them.
A quick and inexpensive way to test for Radon in your home or office is with the DIY Radon Screen Check from Building Health Check, LLC at Grainger, Sears, IndoorAirTest.com and many other fine retailers. Building Health Check, LLC manufactures of the popular do-it-yourself (DIY) IAQ Screen product line at their headquarters in Clearwater, FL.
For more information on the IAQ Screen Test product line, please visit www.indoorairtest.com or contact JoAnn Phifer at 1-800-422-7873 ext 404.
About Pure Air Control Services
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was established in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
Pure Air’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; a CDC ELITE Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; HVAC New Life Restoration and PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning/Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.