Tips on how to keep your family safe during Radon Awareness Week


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Radon is a clear, odorless, and tasteless gas, and it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer.

January 24 through the 28 is an excellent time to review ways to protect yourself since it is Radon Awareness Week.

Radon is caused by the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil under our homes and seeps in through the foundation.

The only way to figure out if your home has radon and how high the levels are is through testing.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a maximum concentration level of four picocuries per liter, which is a unit of measurement used for expressing levels of radon gas.

Professional continuous radon monitor(KTTC)

Here in Olmsted County that maximum level is two picocuries per liter.

The only way to remove radon is through mitigation, where a PVC pipe is sealed to your basement floor and is vented through your roof.

The radioactive gas is commonly found here in Southeast Minnesota and across much of the Upper Midwest because this area was once glaciated.

“This area of the country, we are in zone one, and roughly 50 percent of houses have levels that are above four and 50 percent below,” All-Star Basement Sales Manager Jeff Beck said. “It really doesn’t matter what your neighbors are, you could have everyone below that four number and you could be sitting at 20, and vice versa. It just depends on what was dropped below your house all those years ago.”

Examples of radon mitigation systems
Examples of radon mitigation systems(KTTC)

Prolonged exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer.

And each year the gas causes around 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States.

Experts recommend having the radon levels measured every two years, any time work is done to your basement floor, or when you buy or sell a home.

“The biggest thing is to get it tested, find out what conditions you and your family are living in,” Beck said. “It’s a peace of mind over the long haul, but just to make sure you’re not exposing yourself to something that you can avoid if it’s going to be detrimental to your health.”

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