Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living in a Highest Potential Radon Zone

I live in a Radon Zone that's categorized as "Highest Potential" - or Zone 1. I'm willing to bet that many (if not most) most people don't know what zone they live in.

Zone 1 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L (pico curies per liter) (red zones) Highest Potential
Zone 2 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L (orange zones) Moderate Potential
Zone 3 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L (yellow zones) Low Potential

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has a recent article titled, "Lung cancer deaths from indoor radon and the cost effectiveness and potential of policies to reduce them." Notice how the term "cost effectiveness" is in the title. Does that concern you? Should it concern you that governments and other agencies are making policies and decisions based on the "cost effectiveness" of something? How do you define the cost of life? How about the cost of lung cancer?

The authors of this study have this comment in their discussion section: "Direct evidence now shows that indoor radon causes lung cancer in the general population not only at high concentrations but also at concentrations below... the current action level for homes in the United Kingdom... In most other countries indoor radon concentrations are higher than in the UK and the proportions of deaths attributable to radon are likely to be correspondingly higher."

How does that make you feel?

1 comment:

  1. Radon is a colorless, radioactive gas that comes from decay of uranium in the ground. Testing is easy and inexpensive. Buy a kit at a hardware store; make sure it's certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If the test shows your house has elevated levels of radon, you can hire a professional to correct the problem or you can tackle it yourself. The typical fix is to seal cracks in floors and walls.