Family Focus: Know the dangers of radon gas and how to detect it
PERRYSBURG (WTOL) -- If you have kids who like to play in the basement, don’t miss a warning from local health leaders.
Dangerous radon gas could be getting into your home. There’s so much to think about when you own a home. You have to get the snow shoveled, make sure you have smoke detectors, and install carbon monoxide detectors.
But you could be ignoring something that could make you and your kids sick with lung cancer.
Before the Ringle family moves into their newly purchased home on Tricia Court in Perrysburg, basement renovations have to be done. It’s not for a man cave or family fun space but for something that could save their lives.
They’re getting a radon mitigation system installed by Toledo company Radon Environmental.
The new homeowner, Matt Ringle, says the home was tested for radon and the levels came back a little high. They took action so they don’t put their child in danger.
“They’re a little more vulnerable, in the sense that their lungs are not fully developed. They’re a little bit closer to the ground. So yeah, it’s definitely a concern if you’re going to have kids in the basement,” said James Mann, the founder of Radon Environmental.
Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless and colorless gas that seeps into homes from the soil. The Ohio Department of Health says it can damage the lungs when inhaled and is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause for smokers.
Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski says it’s like inhaling radiation.
“We’re in those areas where we’re exposed, especially in the wintertime, the windows are up and we got the heater going. So it’s important for peace of mind to go out and at least make that first attempt to see if your home has an issue,” Zgodzinski said.
At the Ringle home, a worker was installing the system at the sump pump in the basement. A fan will be set up to move radon gas through tubes and outside of the home, where it can safely be pumped into the air and away from the family.
“Well it’s a great feeling and kind of a side effect is when we’re pulling all that air from the ground, out of the house, we find a lot of people, their allergies improve, the air quality in their home overall improves,” Mann said.
The health commissioner said there are homes in Lucas County and throughout Ohio that have high radon levels. He is even setting up a Healthy Homes program, where families can get easy access to life-saving information about radon.
January is Radon Awareness month and is a chance to learn the cancer risks, get a test kit, or have a company come out to check your levels.
“But really, any type of radon exposure, you don’t want.” Zgodzinski added.
A new radon remediation system will cost around $900 but test kits are relatively inexpensive and are even free for Ohio residents with financial limitations.
When the Ringles move in, the radon mitigation system will be ready to go. Their child and the family’s newest addition, a baby boy born last week, will depend on it.