Monday, April 15, 2013

Radon Testing for Your Home

While we are all indoors avoiding the Great Pollen Release that occurs every spring, one task that should be done here in Cobb County homes, if it hasn't been done before, is testing the indoor air for radon.

UGA's Family and Consumer Sciences division has posted this information about radon on its website:
"Radon is the second leading cause of Lung Cancer in the USA, after tobacco smoke. It kills nearly 22,000 people each year, more than 800 of them in Georgia. Radon is an odorless, invisible and tasteless gas released by the natural decay of uranium in our soils and rocks that easily enters our homes through the foundations and well water."
UGA's radon webpage (linked above) includes a video that explains the testing procedure.

The EPA's map of radon zones shows Georgia's highest risk counties in red: Homes in all three color zones have been found to have elevated radon levels, which means that it's a good idea for all homes in Georgia to be tested. However, Cobb County homes are at greater risk of radon contamination than those in much of the rest of the state.

The EPA recommends that you fix your home if it is found to have a radon level of 4 pCi/L or more. Georgia's Department of Community Affairs has posted a chart showing that, in Cobb County, about 10% of homes tested have an indoor radon level above the threshold of 4 pCi/L.

Information about how to fix the problem, if one exists, is on the EPA website via the linked pdf "Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction."

A radon test kit can be purchased for $8 $10 (as of 2016) at the Cobb County Cooperative Extension office in Marietta (call 770-528-4070 for details).