EPA Region 3
Topic: January is Radon Action Month
Date: January 21, 2011
Host, Bonnie Smith: This is Environment Matters, EPA’s series of environmental podcasts. With us today is a radon expert.
Michelle Moyers: Hello, I’m Michelle Moyer, an environmental scientist, at EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office. I manage the region’s radon program and one of my jobs is to educate the community about radon.
As you pick up your snow shovels and extra salt, don’t forget to pick up a radon test kit. The cold winter months and the closed house conditions are a great time to test your home for radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed by the natural decay or breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks and water. Not everyone knows the dangers of radon gas. Radon gas is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer, 2nd only to smoking and it’s estimated to cause 22,000 deaths a year.
Radon enters your home through cracks and holes in the foundation making the winter months the perfect test time because the home is sealed up tight. These conditions allow radon gas to get trapped inside the home and build up making dangerous conditions.
The bad news is that you can’t see taste or smell it so the only way to know if your home has radon is to test. But the good news is you can test for it and it can be fixed. Testing is easy and inexpensive and costs on average $15-20.
Radon test kits are available at many home improvement stores or online at sosradon.org. If radon gas is detected above the EPA action limit of 4pCi/L, a mitigation system can be installed to reduce your levels. On average a mitigation system costs $1500-2000. You can find a list of certified testers and mitigators on our website at www. epa.gov/radon.
So make the commitment to today to protect your family from radon gas. Test your home for radon, fix it and safe a life. Your family is worth it!
Host, Bonnie Smith: Again, that website for information about radon is epa.gov/radon and thanks for joining us on Environment Matters.