Radon: The Invisible Killer< Back

Is This Invisible Killer in YOUR Building?

Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it? It truly is … and you should take it seriously for the sake of you and your family! Really. A business associate recently told me about two middle-aged sisters that died of lung cancer. They had no significant exposure to smoking or asbestos, but lived together in the same home that was found to contain high radon. Unfortunately, the sisters discovered this too late.

Read on and find out how to check for radon in your home or office without spending a dime. It will be the best dollar you never spent! We’re not providing this information to generate business for EnviroSouth, but only to bring to your attention this very real threat. PLEASE share this with your family and friends.

While the environmental news is full of stories about groundwater contamination and illegal dumping, little attention is paid to radon, the most dangerous environmental hazard of all. This is probably because there are no crimes, political debates, or financial scandals associated with radon. The biggest scandal is that all too many people are not aware of this problem.

The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. And the Upstate counties of South Carolina have the highest average radon concentrations is the state.

 

Here is a primer on radon from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) website:

“Radon is a cancer causing, radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United Sates and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.

According to EPA, radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. It finds its way into homes through cracks and holes in the foundation, construction joints, and plumbing fixtures. Radon has also been found in private well water in areas with rocks that contain uranium or radium. If radon is in your well water, it may enter your home and the air you breathe when the water is used for showering and other activities around the house. Water containing radon is typically not a problem in homes served by public water systems. Breathing in radon can change the cells in your lungs which increases your chances for getting lung cancer. EPA estimates that radon causes more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year.”

 

To receive your free radon test kit, go to the SCDHEC website and submit the request form. The address of this form is http://www.scdhec.gov/Apps/Environment/Radon/.

Or, if you want to be more anonymous, you can purchase test kits at most home improvements stores that include the lab analysis for less than $20.00. If you find elevated radon in your building, there are contractors that can install removal systems for a reasonable cost. So, check your building and have peace of mind.

 


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Disclaimer: This sheet has been prepared by EnviroSouth, Inc. for general informational purposes only. The contents of this publication shall not be construed as legal or professional advice. Readers should consult an environmental professional before acting on the provided information.