Heroism At Home
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 by Tim Snyder
Sometimes heroism turns up unexpectedly. An older lady manages to foil a robber at a convenience store. A teenager rescues a dog from a swollen river. A taxi driver delivers a baby in the back seat of his cab.
Saving a life is a recurring theme in many hometown hero stories. And sometimes there’s a natural disaster involved as well. Considering these heroic attributes, it’s surprising that so many people overlook the potential for heroic action right in their own homes. If you’re still guessing at what heroic acts I’m referring to, I’ll give you a hint: There’s a natural disaster involved.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that emanates from soil and rocks throughout the world. Radon comes from trace amounts of uranium in rocks and soil, so it’s radioactive. The damaging effects of radon occur over a period of years --as the invisible, odorless gas is inhaled day in and day out in houses where high radon concentrations have been allowed to go undetected.
Although radon damage doesn’t occur suddenly like the destruction caused by a hurricane, radon is undoubtedly a natural disaster. It kills about 21,000 people in the U.S. every year –the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. But most of these deaths are preventable, providing that homeowners resolve to have their houses tested and (if necessary) treated for radon abatement.
It may not sound heroic, but it is: Find out if radon gas is posing a lethal health hazard in your home by completing a radon test. Homeowners can get accurate radon test results using test kits that can be purchased inexpensively from hardware stores, home centers or online suppliers. Alternatively, you can contact a licensed radon contractor operating in your area and have the contractor perform the test.
Radon concentrations are likely to be highest in basement, crawl space and lower floor areas. But the gas can easily make its way to just about any part of the house. If a radon test shows concentrations above the actionable level established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (4 picocuries per liter or above), stick with your heroic course of action and contact a radon removal (aka radon abatement or radon mitigation) contractor right away. This radon removal expert will design an abatement system that will exhaust radon gas harmlessly into the atmosphere outside the house. The typical radon abatement system is simple and reliable; the only moving parts are the blades on the exhaust fan.
If you haven’t taken the opportunity to save lives at home by having your home tested for radon, don’t wait any longer. You may not make the evening news broadcast like the taxi driver who delivered the baby, but you’ll be a hero to the family members you care most about.
Tar Heel provides superior radon testing in Winston Salem as well as other parts of North Carolina and Virginia. Visit them online for your free radon mitigation quote!