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Every 25 minutes a death is caused by radioactive gas in the United States. The EPA’s current standing on radon exposure levels is that it can be no higher than (4.0 pCi/L), whereas the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) recommends no higher than (2.7 pCi/L) to match the World Health Organization’s levels. According to the AARST, the EPA and HUD associations have taken little to no action in the testing of homes for sale or occupancy. They propose radical changes to ensure that the public is protected from radon exposure to decrease the chances of lung cancer and other ailments.
Radon Testing Must Become Priority
Each year, radon gas kills 21,000 Americans; AARST President Shawn Price says, “The goals of the 1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act have not been achieved. The few policies implemented to date by the US EPA have failed to adequately address that silent deadly killer. Because voluntary efforts are insufficient alone to arrest this enormous health risk, we call for the following steps in our policy statement.” AARST has declared that the following actions must be taken to reduce indoor radon exposure:
- Congress must direct the EPA to issue regulations (1) requiring radon testing or notification for all homes for sale and (2) requiring that such radon testing be conducted by certified professionals adhering to standards recognized by the American National Standards Institute.
- EPA must adopt a health-based action level no higher than 100 Bq/m3 (2.7 pCi/L) – the radon reference level adopted by the World Health Organization in 2009.
- HUD must require that all federally assisted and insured housing units be mitigated if tested higher than EPA’s action level
- OSHA must update and clarify its regulatory standard for offices and other workplaces to be consistent with EPA’s action level.
Radon Gas is a Silent Killer
Gloria Linnertz, an AARST Board Member and retired school teacher said, “We must protect the public from lung cancer caused by indoor radon. Protracted radon exposure increases the risk of all types of lung cancer. Real people die daily from this radioactive gas.” Linnertz, who had lost her husband to lung cancer, was living with her husband in a home that had radon levels that were four times the EPA action level for 18 years, and had never known it.
Radon is one of the most extensively studied carcinogens, and the diversity and consistency of findings provide overwhelming evidence that protracted radon exposure is the leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Testing is the only way to know if your home has dangerous radon levels. The indoor levels are affected by the soil composition under and around a home, and the pathways through which radon can enter your home.
Contact Neighbors today to schedule an appointment for a free radon test kit and to see how we can help you mitigate this issue from your home. Iowa has some of the highest radon levels in the United States! It may save your life and the lives of your family members. Contact us now!