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Do you live in a high-risk radon county?

ROANOKE, Va. - The Virginia Department of Health released a map, highlighting which locations have the highest risk of radon seeping into basements.

The risk map shows that counties in the New River Valley and Southside face a greater risk of radon, compared to counties in the Roanoke Valley.

INFORMATION FROM VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH:

Exposure to indoor radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, is thought to be the second leading cause of lung cancer, and the leading cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked.  Exposure to radon may cause as many as 21,000 cases of lung cancer each year in the United States, including almost 700 cases per year in Virginia.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies radon risk areas as Zones 1, 2 or 3.  Virginia has 46 counties and 15 cities that are classified as Zone 1 (high risk), and 24 counties and 8 cities classified as Zone 2 (moderate risk).  Testing your home, workplace or other normally occupied area is the only way to know for sure if an indoor radon problem exists.  Indoor radon usually reaches its maximum concentration during the coldest winter months.  The lowest livable level of the structure should always be tested because that is where the highest radon levels in the structure are typically found. Self-test kits may be obtained from commercial vendors or may be ordered.  If the radon level exceeds the EPA recommended action level (4.0 pCi/L), confirmatory testing should be performed. (see our Radon Professionals webpage).  There are several proven methods to reduce radon in your home, but the one primarily used is a vent pipe system and fan, which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside.  This system, known as a subslab suction radon reduction system, does not require major changes to your home.  Sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this kind of system more effective and cost-efficient. Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces.  Radon contractors can use other methods that may also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors.

CLICK HERE for the link to purchase a home test kit recommended by the Virginia Department of Health.


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