Radon: What is it, why should I care, and what can I do about it?

Radon: What is it, why should I care, and what can I do about it?

 

Q.  Is radon real?

Yup. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that forms as the result of the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water, and can be found anywhere in the world.  This radioactive gas comes up out of the ground and can seep into buildings. According to the United States Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States after smokingA 2003 report from the EPA estimated that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year.

 

Here is a clip of ASHI-certified inspector Richard McGarry, of McGarry and Madsen Home inspections, talking about radon and what homeowners and potential homebuyers can do about it:

 

 

McGarry, who conducts much of his business in  Gainesville, Florida, shared that Alachua County has a higher incidence of radon than other areas of the state.  This radon map of Alachua County, Florida confirms his assertions.
Finding radon in your home, either the home you currently live in or the home you wish to buy, is not the end of the world. 

Testing for radon can be done in a number of ways, and is relatively inexpensive.  This EPA website will help you get started.
If you find your home has a high level of radon, installing a radon mitigation system to reduce the radon levels in your home only costs a couple of thousand dollars … a small price to pay for peace of mind.  Again, this EPA website is a wonderful resource in helping you identify radon detection and mitigation professionals in your area.

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