Cancer dangers in your home from Radon

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is joining the World Health Organization's first global call-to-action of a cancer risk in your home.

And some areas in East Tennessee are at a higher risk, than others.

Radon has always seeped up through the ground, but certain factors, like the soil, can affect how much Radon makes it to the surface.

Look at the images of Tennessee and a closer look at East Tennessee.

Information from TDEC reveals 19 counties in East Tennessee are considered to be at high risk, including Knox, Blount, Loudon, and Anderson Counties.

But there's no area at no risk, so the EPA recommends everyone test their home.

Kim day is picking up a few things for her house, at Home Depot, but now that she knows the radio-active gas, Radon, could be seeping into her home, a test kit just jumped to the top of the shopping list.

Kim says, "It's probably a good idea to get it tested, for sure."

And not only is Kim's home in Knox county, one of the areas considered high risk for Radon, but she says "I have a basement, about 2,000 square feet so its a pretty big area."

But a basement is considered a likely source for Radon to come into your home says Knox County Health Department Environment Epidemiologist, Al Iannacone; "It's just the underlying bedrock allows the radioactivity to sort of seep to the surface and get into people's homes, if say they have cracks in their basement."

Iannacone says the EPA has been recommending for more than 40 years that people test for Radon in their homes, "If the level is over 4 picocuries per liter, and now the WHO is lowering that recommendation down to 2.7"

Since the gas is odorless and colorless, you'll have to get a test to know much Radon is making its way into your home.

Simply take the kit to the lowest point in your house, like a basement, and make sure the room is sealed up by closing all windows and doors.

And Iannacone says, "It absorbs the radioactivity if its there. You seal it up and send it off to be tested."

And when you get your results back, some home repair projects, like sealing cracks in the foundation, can cut back the radon levels in your home.

Iannacone says, "If you had a very high level, like putting in a better ventilation system."

Because Radon is radioactive it can cause cancer. In fact, Radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Now there is also a way to get a free radon test kit through TDEC, for a coupon CLICK HERE.

And, for more information on Radon go to TDEC.


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