Radon is back because it never went away

U.S. Geological Survey map of radon distribution. Areas in purple most likely to have radon problems, that includes all of Iowa.

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U.S. Geological Survey map of radon distribution. Areas in purple most likely to have radon problems, that includes all of Iowa.

The radon problem has been known in the U.S. for years. In many areas radon detection and mediation is a major industry. In general the best prevention of radon pollution is to vent gases that collect in basements and other areas prone to water or gas leakage from the surrounding soil.

Now comes word that radon is more deadly in America than carbon monoxide. That's the word from my beloved E.P.A. which is trying to raise awareness of the radon dangers during January, Radon Awareness Month. They estimnate one in fifteen homes has serious radon pollution. Businesses in radon-prone areas can also be affected, obviously.

The American Lung Association has a section of its site dedicated to radon education. Radon is gas and its radioactive isotopes can be cancer-causing if the concentration and exposure is too high.

Many states have their own awareness and abatement programs, such as this one in Illinois. Illinois also has a new law that requires any house sale to include discolosure of the potential of radon pollution. No testing or redmiation are required by thre seller at least is handed a pamphlet warning that radon couldbe present.

Testing can begin with a simple, low-tech do-it-yourself kit from the local hardware.

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