Study identifies radon problem in Eastern Iowa

A radon test kit. Photo by christopherhuffman, Flickr.

According to a new study, nearly one third of homes tested in Eastern Iowa have high enough radon levels to warrant mitigation.

Linn County Public Health analyzed the results of more than 400,000 radon testing kits used in homes throughout Eastern Iowa from 1990 to 2011. Nearly every county reported averages above the Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” of 4 picocuries per litre of air.

Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, is responsible for more than 20,000 deaths per year nationwide, according to the EPA. Iowa leads the nation in radon concentration levels.

“Radon naturally occurs in the soil. It’s the breakdown or uranium in the soil. … It enters our homes through cracks, wells, and sump pumps. A house can act as a vacuum and suck in things from beneath it,” explained Tammy McKeever, Clay County Radon Project coordinator. “It’s colorless and odorless. The only way you know if you have radon in your house is to test for it.”

January is National Radon Action Month, as we reported earlier this week

For more information on radon and its risk, listen to our radio segment on the subject here.

For more information on this recent study, and details on how to obtain an inexpensive radon test kit, read the full article at The Gazette.

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