As the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, it's important that you know the facts.
I previously was not aware of any radon health risks. Personally it sounds more like a comic book substance that might cause one to acquire super powers but in all reality, the risks are real.
Jessica Hope - kbzk.com
You can't see it, smell it, or taste it, yet it's the leading cause of non-smoking lung cancer in the United States. And that is why the Environmental Protection Agency has declared January national Radon Action Month.
So what is Radon? The Gallatin County Health Department told us all about radon and why it is so important to Montana.
Sanitarian Treavor Johnson said, "the Bozeman area and actually the state of Montana is at the highest class of radon content just based on our mineral content in the ground and just our geological features of the state."
Radon is a naturally occurring radio-active gas caused from Uranium in the soil which enters homes often undetected. Statistics show that fifty-percent of all homes in Montana will test positive for high levels of Radon, potentially causing health risks.
Radon remediation specialist Dave Russell said, "radon even at 4.0 which the EPA says it should be below that at the 4.0 that's like getting 200 chest x-rays a year."
Dave also said it's very easy to test for radon and a simple kit can be found at the local health department or hardware store. Once high levels are found, Dave said it will cost between $800-$1200 to remedy the situation.
Spaces with dirt exposed, or cracks in the floor will all need to be sealed to keep the radon out of the house."
The basic installation of special fans also helps to vent the radiation out of the homes. However, researchers are concerned about renters and low-income people being able to fix the situation. Professor Laura Larsson at MSU told me she is working to educate the public about Radon and the health risks involved.
She said, "really our task as health professionals is to get that message to the college students, get that message to the young adults just starting a family or renting their first homes."
Radon can be found in both brand new and older homes and even if your neighbor has high levels you may not.
For more information about radon testing kits please visit the Gallatin County Health Department.