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Resolve to Protect Your Family and Kick Radon Out of Your Home in 2009

2009 January 23

About the author: Builder Fuad Reveiz* is a former professional football placekicker and a current
Member of the National Association of Home Builders. He has his own building and development company in Knoxville, Tennessee. He includes radon-resistant features when building new homes.

Recently the headlines have been pretty dire – crises in the financial and housing markets, a poor holiday season for retailers. Reflecting on this state of affairs a friend recently said to me, “at least I’ve got my health.” How right he was! I cherish my health and that of my family. As a builder, homeowner, and parent, I know that having a healthy and green home is extremely important in protecting the health of my family.

In my experience as a builder, homes built for health and safety sell faster. More and more of my customers know the importance of indoor air quality to their families’ health. They also know one of the most dangerous indoor air pollutants is radon. Some years ago, I learned about the health risks of breathing radon from the American Lung Association, and I learned about ways to build new homes so radon can be prevented from entering them.

Radon is a deadly radioactive gas that rises up from underground and can seep into any home. Breathing in radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – and among non-smokers it’s the leading cause of lung cancer.

The good news is that homes can be built safer, healthier, and radon-resistant. The techniques to prevent radon from entering a home are practical and straightforward for any builder. It’s an inexpensive way to offer families a benefit that could reduce their risk of lung cancer. And it’s a smart way to build trust between builders and their customers. If you are looking to buy a new home, ask your builder about radon-resistant features or seek out a builder that builds radon-resistant to make your home healthier and greener at the same time.

I hope you’ll resolve to protect your loved ones by learning about radon, testing for it and kicking it out of your home. The winter season is a great time to get informed about radon, as January is National Radon Action Month, a time dedicated to increasing radon awareness. As someone who knows quite a lot about kicking, I suggest you kick off this New Year right because living in a healthier home starts from the ground up.
 
For detailed information about radon-resistant new construction, radon testing, and National Radon Action Month visit www.epa.gov/radon/.

*EPA does not endorse this particular builder or any other commercial service or enterprise.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

12 Responses leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    January 23, 2009

    Appreciate the good advice.

  2. aulb permalink
    January 28, 2009

    FYI yesterday I submitted the following question to the EPA:

    The radon level in my home was 3 times the EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L action limit. For us, installing a radon mitigation system was a medical necessity to prevent lung cancer. I assumed that the cost of the radon mitigation system qualifies as a medical deduction without having to get a doctor’s prescription for it. When the AMA, ACS, and EPA state that: “Radon Gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer,” that was my prescription for corrective action.

    I asked several tax gurus and the IRS if this device qualifies as a medical deduction. I got vague answers. The IRS replied by referring me to IRS Pub.502. After reading Section Capital Expense (page 6) and Section Personal Use Items (page 16) I concluded that the sole purpose of the radon gas mitigation system is to prevent an illness (lung cancer) and that is does not add to the value of the home. Therefore, for both reasons it qualifies as a medical expense deduction.

    Furthermore, in 1989 the 101st Congress wrote H.R.2005, the “Radon Reduction Incentive Act of 1989″ stating: “Home Improvements to mitigate harmful levels of radon exposure qualify for medical care expense tax deduction.” Even the IRS doesn’t know if this bill got signed into law.

    My question to the EPA is: Do you know if the cost of a radon mitigation system qualifies as a deductible medical expenses as written in H.R. 2005? If it is, I would appreciate the necessary back-up references.

    P.S. H.R. 1363 talks about tax credits for radon removal.

  3. work from home permalink
    February 3, 2009

    As UN International Civil Servants, we were proud of Ms Arbour as High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    February 17, 2009

    Have you tried your Congressman?

  5. aggiemom permalink
    March 19, 2009

    I do not kno9w who wrote the above because H. R. 1363 is:
    “110TH CONGRESS – 1ST SESSION H. R. 1363
    To amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to improve the nutrition and health of schoolchildren by updating the definition of ‘‘food of minimal nutritional value’’ to conform to current nutrition science and to protect the Federal investment in the national school lunch and breakfast programs”. There is NO mention of radon gas.

  6. radon testing sparta new jersey permalink
    September 1, 2009

    Great article. This will help me a lot. Thanks. I just started reading all the blogs. I will bookmark this. Thakns again.

    Jim – The Radon Tester.

  7. Rhonda Leonard permalink
    January 27, 2010

    What about existing homes?

  8. bill reagan permalink
    March 7, 2010

    radon is a problem but people smoking everywhere is far greater because of second hand smoke. We must stop this.

  9. Scott permalink
    April 1, 2010

    Great advice. As a work from home parent of 3, these are issues that are close to my heart. Thank you for the excellent content.

    Best,
    Scott

  10. Amy Cameron permalink
    April 15, 2010

    I have not been informed about how radon in our homes could pose a threat to my family. Thanks a lot for this article! It came so timely since we’re planning to get a new home and this matter should be put into consideration.

    Amy Cameron

  11. allen permalink
    March 24, 2011

    Now that is not cool. I thought radon is helpful for my family and its safe because it also used by scientist and doctors for treating sickness. I appreciate this article so much! Thank you for the info.

  12. Ken permalink
    March 31, 2011

    I am currently writing a research paper on radon and its risks. A few important things I’ve learned so far:

    - If you smoke and are exposed to high levels of radon your risk of lung cancer increases by up to 20 times.
    -Radon gas can also come from the granite counter tops and floors in your home.
    -In New Jersey 84% of the homes mitigated had radon levels reduced to 2pCi/L or less.
    -Approximately 6 million people live in moderate to high areas and 2.4 million homes still need to be tested in these areas.

    TEST, FIX, SAVE A LIFE.

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