Testing your home for Radon

By Dan Wells – bio | email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – January is National Radon Month, and it's aimed at making you aware about the affects of Radon and how to prevent it in your home.

Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can't see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually, according to the EPA.

"It's overwhelming because you consider your surroundings to be your haven, our dream home, it's where you feel safe and I didn't know prior to doing the research on radon that it's really was the second leading cause of lung cancer," said Debra Rebensdorf.

Rebensdorf, 54, of Winchester, Ohio has stage four lung cancer, but neither she nor her husband are smokers. They've never dealt with high levels of air pollution from motor vehicles or factories but they did build a new home just a few years ago.

"That is when two independent doctors mentioned that I should have our house checked for Radon and that when my husband sent our test in and it came back in double digits," said Debra.

It's a bigger problem here in the Tri-state than you might think.

"In the Cincinnati area, one in every three homes comes back high for Radon and it's relatively easy to test for Radon. You can either hire a professional or test for it yourself," said Alexia Workman of At Home Radon, Inc.

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils. It typically seeps into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

"For a professional to come into your home it's anywhere from $120 to $150, for you to do it yourself, it's anywhere from $25 to $50. The EPA does recommend that you test it twice," said Workman.

So after finding what Debra believes was the cause of her cancer, she took action.

"When I made the call to have the house mitigated (it was) because I couldn't fight cancer knowing it was in the house surrounding me, what was potentially causing it all along," said Debra. "It's easy to plan your life, it's harder to plan not to have one, so I never dreamt I would be fighting this battle."

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