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How to Protect Your Home From Radon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Environmental Protection Agency has declared January "National Radon Action Month." It's an effort by United States health agencies to promote awareness of the dangers caused by the odorless gas.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Radon- it has no color nor a small, but can be hazardous to your health. The gas can be found underneath homes and can cause lung cancer if ingested over a long period of time.

"What radon is a gas that is underneath some homes, not all homes, that if ingested over a period of time, can cause lung cancer," said Jeff Fahrlander, president of Fahrlander Homes and Radon Mitigation of the Ozarks.

Jeff Fahrlander builds both homes and radon mitigation systems. He said exposure to the gas is common in many homes.

"It's the new thing. People didn't realize that radon was there," he said. "The average home owner in southwest Missouri is not aware of the problem."

Basements are common places to detect the gas.

"It's under the concrete in your basement floor. That gas is just sitting there and seeping up," he said. "There could be cracks in the floor and it could seep in your cracks. There's drains."

Safe levels of radon is capped at four picocuries, which you can measure on radon detection devices.

"You put it in a home to test for 48 hours," he said. "Then it gives a reading."

Many home improvement  stores, like Lowe's, sell tester kits. So for about $13, you can test the level of radon in your home and then ship it off to a lab.

If you do find high levels of radon in your house, mitigation systems can be installed to ventilate your house.

"We can put one system and it reduces it," he said. "The gas goes to the outside and dissipates in the air."

Installation can cost anywhere from 1400 to 3000 dollars-- a price Fahrlander says is worth the risk.

"It's worth testing. If you have small kids. It's one of those things that it's better to be safe than sorry," he said.

Fahrlander said he recommends to do the radon testing when people first move into a house, and to follow up with testing once every year.

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