Invisible, odorless, but deadly – radon gas is a national health problem. As the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, radon kills more Americans annually than drunk driving.
WMOA News spoke with the Ohio Department of Health’s Donna Jurden, who explains that radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that decays from uranium.
“Uranium is found in Ohio’s soil and rocks - as it decays, it turns into radon. Being a gas, radon can migrate into your home through openings and cracks in the foundation, floors, walls, as well as through concrete,” explains Jurden. “The use of forced air furnaces can also contribute to indoor radon levels.”
Jurden says radon’s national average indoor level measures 1.3 picocuries per liter of air.
Due to our region’s geology, Ohio is much higher than average. Washington County, for example, measures an average 4.75 picocuries per liter.
The US EPA recommends action taken to reduce radon at homes with levels four or above.
Donna Jurden says all Ohio homes should be tested for radon levels.
“Homeowners can test their own property by purchasing an inexpensive testing kit, that comes with directions; or, they can hire an Ohio licensed tester. Of course, hiring a tester will cost more than doing the test kit yourself.”
She recommends buying kits from www.ohio.radon.com, where they cost $7.95.
Additionally, there’s a lot of information about radon levels and their effects on that website, which is administered by the state health department.