Moderate to High Radon Risk for 70 Percent of Tennesseans

 

Homeowners across Tennessee are being urged to take action this month by testing for radon. Image credit: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Homeowners across Tennessee are being urged to take action this month by testing for radon. Image credit: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

It really is a matter of out of sight, out of mind, but radon is a deadly danger in many homes across the state, and the message on the importance of testing is clear. Jan Compton, manager of the Office of Sustainable Practices with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, says it’s estimated that more than 70 percent of the state’s population lives in moderate to high risk areas for the radioactive gas, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer. “Although some regions of the state are at higher risk and are more likely to have higher radon levels, we urge everyone to test because each home can be different,” Compton says. Radon test kits can be purchased at most hardware stores, and during January, which is National Radon Action Month, some are available for free through the Tennessee Radon Program. If a home is found to have high levels, Compton says the fix can be relatively simple with a radon mitigation system. “They mostly use a system with PVC pipe and a fan that pulls the radon out either through the roof (or) some of them are pulled out through the side of the home,” she explains. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes up from the ground from the decay of uranium.