It’s time for our 2015 installment of Radon Myths. In this multi-part series, we will evaluate some of the radon myths that are still hanging out. We’d like to put these radon myths to bed, once & for all.
MYTH: I’m safe because I don’t spend much time in my basement.
FACT: If your furnace or duct runs are located in your basement or crawlspace, anytime the furnace fan runs for either heat or air conditioning, the radon level on the first floor is often the same as it is in the basement or crawlspace. Staying out of the basement doesn’t matter if your furnace fan is running even occasionally.
MYTH: Radon is naturally occurring so it must be safe.
FACT: Radon IS naturally occurring and so are earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, lightning, volcanoes, avalanches and mudslides. On average, radon kills more people every year than all of those combined. Dirt is natural too, but you don’t want to be under six feet of it.
MYTH: I already have a radon monitor in my home and it says I’m safe.
FACT: Some people mistakenly think that carbon monoxide monitors or smoke detectors measure radon. Every home should have both but they can’t detect radon. On average, residential fires kill 2,800 Americans every year. Carbon monoxide deaths in the home average 235 per year. Radon, still at 21,000 deaths a year.
MYTH: My home is new so I can’t have a radon problem.
FACT: Many newer homes have higher radon levels than older ones because they now design homes to have better porosity in the soil around the house. This is done for moisture control but the result is easier flow for the radon gas to be drawn in. It doesn’t matter how old your home is, if there is the right amount of radium in the soil, you may have a serious problem.
MYTH: My neighbors home tested fine so I must be safe.
FACT: You can never rely on your neighbor’s radon results as a comparison to yours. Even identical homes in the same development, next door to each other, built at the same time by the same builder can be 100 times higher or lower than your house. There can even be a huge difference in just one side of a duplex or attached townhome. That is why every residence in America needs to be tested.
Thank you to radonawareness.org.