Detecting Radon in Your Home
The EPA Web site—www.epa.gov—lists professionals who have passed EPA's qualifying exam for radon mitigation services. You'll also find information there for homeowners who want to do the work themselves. Asbestos, another environmental hazard in some homes, also is covered on the site.
Radon is a leading cause of lung cancer, and all homes should be tested for it.
Radon is a colorless, radioactive gas that comes from decay of uranium in the ground. Although high levels are found in certain parts of the country, small amounts exist in soil and ground water throughout the United States. It can seep into houses through cracks in the basement wall and other openings. Even if your neighbor's home doesn't have it, yours could.
Testing is easy and inexpensive. Buy a kit at a hardware store; make sure it's certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If the test shows your house has elevated levels of radon, you can hire a professional to correct the problem or you can tackle it yourself. The typical fix is to seal cracks in floors and walls.
More on: Childhood Safety
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Child Safety © 2000 by Miriam Bacher Settle, Ph.D., and Susan Crites Price. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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