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Radon in Homes

  1. Feb 18, 2005 #1
    I remember seeing a lot about this back in the eighties. Then it sort of "went away", I hadn't heard much about it at all over the last 15 or so years. Then today, while watching TV, I saw a commercial for home Radon testing.

    Just curious, is this a real, serious threat? Or just hype?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2005 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Radon is a potential problem in certain areas of the country, like the Appalacian mountains, and parts of the mountain states, where there are natural deposits of uranium/thorium ores. The certain isotopes of U and Th decay, and one of the products is radon. Houses, particularly with basements, built over certain rock formations could have higher levels of radon. Ventillation of the basement with outside air is a remedy.

    On the other hand, IIRC, the radiation levels are generally low enough that it is not considered a major health risk for most people.

    I would suggest you search google with "Radon","health risk" and perhaps include your state or local region to see if there are any publications which address a concern. Also, try http://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/zonemap.html.
  4. Feb 18, 2005 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    It "went away" only in the sense that you don't read about it in the papers anymore. Its still a serious issue for anyone buying a home in Pennsylvania.
  5. Feb 18, 2005 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Adding to what Russ mentioned, the people around TMI get much more radiation exposure from the 'natural' radon in their homes than they do from the plant, including during the accident in 1979. However, most were concerned about the plant, not their homes. :rolleyes:
  6. Feb 18, 2005 #5

    Thats because people, reporters and politicians are not scientists, and tend to be rather, well...there's no nice way to put it , so i won't even try.
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