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January is National Radon Month, but Why Wait?

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Actually, every day should be radon day. Don’t know what it is?

Radon is a natural occurring radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It seeps into your home through floors, into your body while jogging or walking outside, or just by taking a deep breath. You can’t escape radon, it’s everywhere. Mother nature is responsible, so we can’t blame some errant firm for being naughty and dumping radioactive materials in the soil.

How dangerous is it? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America, right after smoking cigarettes, claiming about 20,000 lives a year.

The EPA sets out five things you can do to guard yourself and your family against this deadly gas:

1. Test your home for radon, and get information from your state and regional offices about testing. Find out more on this EPA page.

2. The EPA has a pdf in English or in Spanish , to help you learn more about radon and it’s effects.

3. Check out your locality and see if there’ll be an National Radon Month event in your state.

4. Talk it up! Read all you can about radon, talk with friends and neighbors and raise awareness. Health effects are summarized here.

5. Buy a radon resistant home, if you’re in the market for a new house. Check out builders who use radon resistant new construction. You’ll find useful information here. As a matter of fact, no matter where you live, it can’t hurt to test and take precautions if necessary.

Now before you accuse me of trying to start a panic or something, that’s obviously not the case. This stuff is dangerous and exists in every state of the union, and most foreign countries as well. The amount of radiation varies according to the area of the country where you live. The EPA map of radon zones in America is here along with a full explanation. If you’re wondering about radon worldwide this site is rather old but contains plenty of information that isn’t likely to change much over the years.

Testing your home for radon is easy and inexpensive. A comprehensive guide is located here. Kits can be found in many hardware stores and, of course, online. I saw some priced around $25.00, which isn’t too bad considering what you’re dealing with.




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