Provided by Enhabit
For the Hollywood Star News
Recent reports of high toxicity in our neighborhoods, including those in North and Northeast Portland, have raised concerns in our community about the health and well being of our local living environments. While current fears may center on outdoor air, there are risks lurking inside homes too.
The Oregon Health Authority notes that one in four properties in the metro area have high levels of radon – a naturally occurring inert gas that is brought on by the radioactive decay of radium.
Radon is the country’s second-leading cause of lung cancer and accompanies a wide range of indoor air pollutants that can exacerbate chronic health issues. In Oregon alone, 67,000 children and 320,000 adults suffer from asthma.
“From the basement to the attic, most people don’t know about the many sources of indoor pollution that can trigger breathing problems – including dirt and dust mites, fireplace or tobacco smoke, radon, mildew and mold,” said Enhabit Home Performance Advisor Irie Searcy. “Because you can’t see or smell radon – it’s important to test your home every two years.”
A radon test shows levels of radioactive decay. Levels above four trigger the Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level,” indicating a need to address radon-mitigation solutions.
“We tested for radon when we bought our house,” said Northeast Portland homeowner Susan Argintar. “Since I was pregnant at the time, it became extremely important to me and my new family.”
After learning the house had radon levels in the mid-teens, Argintar installed a radon-mitigation system.
Searcy recommends an easy first-step to assess a home’s indoor air quality. Radon test kits are readily available online (www.enhabit.org/radon). The set-up process involves placing a test kit in the home’s lowest level of living space, then mailing results to the lab. For tests purchased through Enhabit, a home performance advisor is available to discuss results and offer suggestions to take steps toward a healthier home.
Enhabit (formerly Clean Energy Works) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, focused on building more resilient communities. Enhabit is the next step for homeowners who want to make their homes work and feel better. From the initial review of the home, to choosing a trusted contractor and financing to make the right efficiency, health and safety upgrades affordable, Enhabit is committed to high-performance home renewal that makes sense.