Myth or Fact? The Truth about Radon.

You’ve probably heard the myths about radon in your home.  With this month’s blog, we’re going to try to debunk some of the latest – and craziest – untruths out there.   

MYTH:
Radon is naturally occurring so it must be harmless.
FACT:
Radon IS naturally occurring and so are earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, lightning, volcanoes, avalanches, and mudslides. On average, radon kills more people every year than all of those combined.

MYTH:

Everything causes cancer so why worry?
FACT:
If you added up the deaths from all of the latest cancer-causing articles that you’ve read, I can guarantee that it won’t come near the devastation that radon exposure causes each year.  12% of ALL cancer deaths have been linked to radon and not just one person but over 21,000 Americans die every year from radon. In simpler terms, you could probably drink diet soda the rest of your life and not develop cancer from it.  But, if you live in a home with high levels of radon, cancer is a very real thing. 

MYTH:

I already have a radon monitor in my home and it says I’m safe.
FACT:
Some people believe that carbon monoxide monitors or smoke detectors measure radon – they don’t. While RSI encourages you to have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you will need a separate test for radon.  And, keep in mind the following:

·         Carbon monoxide in the home kills an average of 235 Americans per year.
·         Residential fires kill an average of 2,800 Americans per year.
·         Radon kills 21,000 Americans per year.


MYTH:
If radon is such a big deal, why aren’t our government health officials doing something about it?
FACT: 
They’re starting to.  In fact, the Iowa Senate just passed a bill making it mandatory to test in schools, the Madison County health department in St. Louis is urging homeowners to test, daycares in the Chicago area are now required to test every three years, and the list goes on. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes mandatory.  But, why wait until then? Test now!

MYTH:

My home is new so I can’t have a radon problem.
FACT:
A lot of newer homes have higher radon levels because builders are designing homes with better porosity in the soil around the house. This is done for moisture control but the result is an easier route for radon gas to be drawn in. It doesn’t matter how old your home is, if there is a high level of radium in the soil, you may have a serious issue.

MYTH:

I’m safe because I don’t spend much time in my basement.
Or
I’m safe because I don’t have a basement. 
FACT:
If your furnace or duct runs are located in your basement or crawlspace, anytime the furnace fan is on – heat or air conditioning – the radon level on the first floor is usually identical to the basement or crawlspace. Staying out of the basement doesn’t matter if your furnace fan is running even sporadically.

MYTH:

My neighbor’s home tested well so my home must be safe.
FACT:
You can NEVER rely on a neighbor’s radon results. Identical homes next door to one another in the same neighborhood, built at the same time by the same builder can have radon levels 100 times higher or lower than one another. That is why every individual dwelling in America needs to be tested.

MYTH:

I live in an area that doesn’t have any radon problems.
FACT:
Some areas of the country have been shown to have lower radon levels on average than others, but serious issues have been found in every state and in many areas that used to be considered low risk.

MYTH:

Low-level exposure to radon is not detrimental.
FACT:
There is no level of exposure to radiation that is harmless. Human exposure to radiation should be avoided whenever possible. You put a bib on to protect you from radiation when you an x-ray, right?  Why would you then subject yourself to radiation in your home?  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and every other health agency state that any home with radon levels of 4 pCi/L or greater should be fixed. If your home is between 2 and 4 pCi/L, you should seriously consider fixing it.

MYTH:

Homes with radon problems can’t be fixed.
FACT:
Radon Systems of Indiana has mediated dozens of cases of in the Tri-State alone.  Any home can be fixed. 

MYTH:

I’ve lived in my home for so long; it doesn’t make sense to take action now.
FACT:

If you discovered that you had a high level of carbon monoxide in your home that was making your family ill, would you fix it?  Of course you would!  Radon exposure is the same.  You will reduce your risk of cancer as soon as you reduce your radon levels, even if you’ve lived with a radon problem for a long time.

MYTH:
Do-It-Yourself radon test kits are not accurate.
FACT:
If you follow the instructions, DIY test kits are accurate.  If you would feel more comfortable with a professional testing your home, Radon Systems of Indiana provides that service as well. 

Radon Systems of Indiana (RSI) is happy to help dispel any other rumors or myths you may have heard about radon.  But, just remember this, radon is dangerous.  Radon should be tested for.  And, radon issues should be fixed.  Whether you have a just want to test your home, have a current problem, or want to take charge of your indoor air quality before an issue arises, RSI can help.  RSI works with owners of single-family homes, commercial buildings, multi-family residences, and everything in between.  Call 812.842.0728 or visit www.RadonSystemsIndiana.com.com today and schedule a free estimate.  You and your family deserve this peace of mind. 
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