Safe Indy NEWS
April 2016
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Kennedy King Memorial Event
April 4, 2016
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In remembrance of Robert F. Kennedy's historic speech at 17th and Broadway in Indianapolis on April 4, 1968. Despite violent protests in over a hundred cities, Indianapolis remained peaceful that night in part due to Kennedy's impassioned speech.
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WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT RADON?
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View Radon Map at EPA.gov

 

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be a danger to humans and pets because it can cause lung cancer. Radon can have a big impact on indoor air quality. You can’t see or smell radon, so testing is the only way to know your level of exposure.

 

According to Cancer.gov, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and scientists estimate that 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year are related to radon. Exposure to radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

Is radon only a problem in homes with basements?

No, radon can be found in any type of home - even those without basements. Radon levels may vary greatly from house to house even in the same neighborhood. This means that even if your neighbor’s home was tested and did not have high levels you should still have yours tested.

 

How do I know if radon levels in my home are too high?

The only way to know is to have your home tested. Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, and will tell you if the levels in your home are under the EPA’s “action” limit of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) of air. But no level of radon gas is safe, and even outdoor levels of radon pose some risk according to the National Academy of Sciences. The EPA advises that in many cases even when levels in the home are under 4 pCi/L it may still be a good idea to install a radon mitigation system.

 

According to the EPA, Indiana is considered to be in “Zone 1” with many counties that have interior radon levels greater than 4 pCi/L.

Do radon levels fluctuate?

The levels may vary from one home to the next home next door and from hour to hour. A professional home inspector can test for radon with a continuous monitor to test variations over time. Variables such as wind speed and barometric pressure can affect radon levels as well as other factors.

 

Where else is radon found?

The main source of indoor radon is from soil, but radon gas can also be released into the air from water, especially private wells, and from building materials such as rock, brick and concrete, and it can even from outside air and settle in basements, because radon is eight times heavier than the other air in our homes.

 

What do I do if my home tests positive for radon?

If your home tests above safe levels for radon you can have a radon mitigation system installed. The cost of this system varies from around $500 to $1500. There are a variety of methods used, including both interior and exterior systems, to pull the radon gas out of your living spaces and discharge it safely outside your home.

 

Where can I find out more information about radon?

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

800-451-6027 - IN.gov/idem

Report Environmental Emergencies, 24 hours-a-day: 888-233-7745

 

View EPA's Citizen’s Guide to Radon at IN.gov
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