The Hollywood Star, January, 2010
January is Portland Radon Action Month. Because nearly half of Northeast Portland homes have indoor radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended action level, the American Lung Association (ALA) of Oregon and radon expert Don Francis of EcoTech are offering free presentations about radon. Learn what radon is, where it comes from, how to test for it and how to fix a home with a radon problem.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in U.S. nonsmokers, responsible for an estimated 22,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Therefore, the ALA and the EPA recommend that every home be tested for radon and that previously tested homes be retested if they have been remodeled or weatherized. Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive; test your home yourself with a $14 EPA-approved kit from the ALA: www.lungoregon.org/air/Radon.html. Learn more about EcoTech and radon mitigation at www.oregonradon.com.
Public presentations will be held Tuesday, January 19, at the East Portland Neighborhood Office, 1017 N.E. 117th Ave. (on the corner of Northeast 117th Avenue and Holliday Street), 7–8 p.m. and Wednesday, February 3 at the McMenamins Kennedy School Community Room, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., 7–8 p.m.
Fast radon facts
• Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas.
• Rocks and soil containing granite are the primary local sources of radon.
• Radon cannot be seen, smelled or sensed in any way.
• The only documented health impact of radon is lung cancer.
• Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer in
• There is no established safe level of radon—the lower the level, the lower the risk.
• Radon is measured in pico curies per liter of air, expressed as pCi/L.
• The EPA recommends that people not have a long-term exposure to radon of more than
• One year of radon exposure at 4 pCi/L is the equivalent health risk of 300 chest X-rays.
• Half the homes in many Portland and Vancouver, Washington neighborhoods have radon
levels exceeding 4 pCi/L.
• Workplaces and schools can also have high radon levels.
• The Environmental Protection Agency, the Surgeon General, the American Medical
Association and the America Lung Association recommend that every home in the U.S.
should be tested for radon.
• Radon testing is affordable—less than $40 for a short-term home test kit.
• Radon testing should be part of every home inspection—professional measurements cost
• Homes with high radon concentrations can be fixed, usually for less than $2,000.
• An estimated 22,000 people die each year of radon-caused lung cancer; most of these
deaths are preventable.