Is your house making you sick?

January is Radon Awareness Month

Radon zone map

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Radon in a home can put your family at risk. The gas is odorless and can’t be detected by sight, smell or taste, but its effects could be life-threatening.

Every county in Ohio and 50 counties in Pennsylvania have high levels of radon. In fact, Ohio is considered a Zone One, meaning it has some of the highest levels of radon in the country.

SEE COUNTY BY COUNTY MAP OF RADON LEVELS IN OHIO

The natural gas comes from the ground and is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It creeps into your home through floors, walls or any opening between the home and soil.

Randon levels in homes are about 1.6 times higher in the winter months because there is less ventilation and concentrations are higher in basements.

U.S. EPA RADON INFORMATION

“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in people who smoke,” said Joe Khoury, owner of Radon Raiders.

Testing for radon can be done professionally or consumer kits can be purchased at retailers.

The good news is high radon levels are relatively easy to control. Research by the U.S. EPA shows that it is possible to bring down the radon levels in buildings with a wide variety of techniques. One those methods is depressurization.

Khoury says houses act like a suction cup, drawing the gas from the ground. A depressurization system can help mitigate that effect.

Houses are typically tested for radon during the sale process. Most banks require a home inspection and radon testing is part of that.

Khoury says the biggest danger with radon gas is that some people don’t think about it or take it seriously.

“Being on the forefront of it, I get to see it first-hand. It’s a very real issue and very serious life issue,” Khoury said.