WHE Create Change: Get Radon on your Radar (Featured Image)

Get Radon on the Radar

January is National Radon Action Month. How much time are you spending in your home? This pandemic has caused us all spend more and more time in our homes then we had originally planned. Many of the things we do like working, exercising, and eating are now taking place in the comfort of our homes. But with all of this time inside comes some environmental health risks that many families may overlook.

Since January is National Radon Action Month, it is a perfect time to get your home tested for radon. More time in your home means a higher chance of coming into contact with radon. Radon is the second leading cause for lung cancer, and is a colorless, odorless gas that is found everywhere. When in trace amounts outside, radon can be harmless because it is easily dispersed, but it can be deadly in larger amounts when inside buildings because of its high radioactivity. Most people are exposed to the highest amount of radon inside their homes, as radon can easily move up from soil into the air through cracks and gaps inside foundation.

Getting your home checked for radon is simple and inexpensive! Inside homes and buildings, gaps and cracks can be sealed with plaster or caulk to prevent radon leaks. Many states also have qualified contractors who know how to seal foundation and prevent radon from escaping. Also, increasing ventilation inside homes by using fans, opening windows, or adding vents can help reduce overall radon levels. Perhaps the best way to deal with radon inside homes and buildings is to test for it. Tests are inexpensive, easy to find, and only take a few minutes to set up. Most kits require a small device to be put in a room for a period of a few days to up to 3 months. Some longer tests can be put for a much lengthier period of time and are more precise.

Testing for radon is easily accessible and very important since we are now spending so much time in our homes. Especially in the winter, with no windows open or fresh air circulation, we are all at a much greater risk for radon poisoning then we were before the pandemic. In fact, in November, University of Calgary studied 100 homes to see whether increased time at home due to the pandemic has led to higher exposure of radon. Early results have shown a 35% increase of annual radon exposure in homes that were surveyed. Though not many studies have been done since this is new for all of us, we can draw the connection between time spent inside to radon exposures.

Radon Resources

WHE Radon Fact Sheet

PA Residents free radon testing kit

Find certified testers and mitigators

Step by step video of how to test

Sign up for Citizen for Radon Reduction Newsletter to stay up to date on radon info and resources


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Back to School: Healthy School Supplies Guide

Opting for greener back to school supplies not only saves the environment and your health but can save money too. These tips can help you, as a parent, teacher, or student, choose non-toxic and eco-friendly school supplies for a healthier, safer school year.

What are Single-use plastics and why are they bad?

Recycling plastic materials is a good way to reduce the carbon footprint. However, over 90% of plastics are not being recycled and instead being thrown away and dumped into landfills or littered into the environment.

Forever Chemical (PFAS) Causes a Water Crisis

On July 16th, McKeesport, PA residents were advised to not use their tap water for any purpose following a fire in the community. It was believed that more than 500 homes could have water contaminated with PFAS, a toxic class of chemicals that had been released from a chemical-based firefighting foam, known officially as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF).

National Healthy Homes Month

As we spend more time in our home’s we become more susceptible to potential harms like mold, lead exposure, radon, toxic products that we use for cleaning or personal care, as well as outdoor pollution.