A naturally occurring radioactive odorless, colorless and tasteless gas is quietly invading Berkshire county residences and the public may not be aware of the consequences entailed with this ongoing problem. The culprit in question: Radon, which can enter homes without you even knowing it exists within your property.

This silent invader can enter from cracks in walls, basement floors, foundations and various other openings and now is the time to investigate this matter as the month of January emphasizes the public's awareness which can result in serious health risks as this gas also results as the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer. Nationwide, over 21,000 deaths have been reported annually due to radon-related lung cancers that could affect all ages in your household.

Building managers and real estate agents who rent apartments and homes MUST safeguard their prospective tenants from this radioactive gas as alarming statistics from The American Lung Association show the state of Massachusetts radon test results come in with a staggering 21.8% rate that is equivalent of 4pCi/L (picocuries per liter) which is equal to national statistics that reach the same moniker.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests this number MUST be lowered to below 4.0 pCi/L as school administrators also need to take action in keeping all students and faculty safe from the dangers accompanied by this quiet invader that yields disastrous results from all angles.

American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Albert Rizzo reiterated that radon is a hazard and proper precautions must be taken to alleviate the problem:

"Radon in homes is more common than you think, In fact, at least 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. have elevated levels of radon and this is something that should NOT be taken lightly. exposure to radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The good news is that it is easy to test for radon. Do-It yourself kits are simple to use and inexpensive"

Some state health departments offer financial assistance or low interest loans for those with hardships as they can assure themselves some piece of mind after a successful test has been submitted as radon testing needs to be disclosed during any future real estate transactions. The air in your residence needs to be addressed for detection of any possible problems as a mitigation system needs to be implemented as soon as possible if levels exceed 2 pCi/L. This also applies to schools and day care centers as children are not immune from health setbacks related to radon exposure.

You can learn more about the fundamentals of radon testing and mitigation by logging on to this web site OR you can call The American Lung Association's toll-free number: 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872)

(Statistical information obtained in this article courtesy of The American Lung Association)

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