State Publicly Releases Data About Radon Levels Around Maine
I bet most people are looking at this headline and think one of two things. 1) This sounds boring, and how does it pertain to me? And 2) Oh my gosh, it's about time someone started saying more about this. You can't please all the people all the time, but we've learned our lesson about that now, haven't we?
But the thing is, radon feels like it's about everywhere at this point. So what is it? The EPA's website defines it as such:
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts.
It's also got a lot to do with how much granite is in the bedrock. And lord knows in Maine, there's granite everywhere.
In Maine, in your household, you shouldn't have a radon level over 2.0. The National EPA limit is 4.0. When we bought our first house in Bangor, the level was .01. Not bad at all, almost non-existent. But our house in Hampden had a test when we bought it, and it was over 16.5 at it's highest.
So, we had a radon mitigation system put in. They're not super cheap... ours was about $1600 when all was said and done, but that's a small price to pay to prevent any number of health problems, including lung cancer.
According to Fox ABC Maine, data is showing that around the state, over 50% of homes in Maine likely have elevated radon levels. Long term, it's not something you really want to mess with, and not every home is protected against it. Most new construction either has the mitigation system in place, or at least the prep work done to install one.
The staggering statistic, is that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, so if you think your just going roll the dice and wing it, you may want to think twice. If not for yourself, what about your children, or your pets? They could also suffer the ill effects of radon exposure.
If you're worried about radon in your house, you can get a home radon test kit. you literally find them almost anywhere. Walmart, any hardware store, even on Amazon. So do yourself a favor, and check it out. The test kits aren't that expensive, and if your levels are low, you've got nothing to worry about.
But if they're high, you'll at least be armed with the knowledge, so you can make whatever decision you need to for your family. I'll cross my fingers for your low numbers!