Test Your Home If You Live In Gwinnett County
Radon is a naturally occurring colorless and odorless radioactive gas that can be harmful after extended exposure to high levels. Radon gas migrates up through the soil and can enter a building and concentrate indoors. Because people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, they can be exposed to elevated levels.
According to data from the University of Georgia Radon Education Program, homes in Gwinnett County have a 22% - 28% chance of having elevated radon levels. This can happen in any home with any type of construction, including slab on grade, crawlspace, and homes with basements.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks and water. Uranium is often found in high levels in granite, which is readily present throughout Georgia, especially in the northern half of the state.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers, and the second leading cause overall, behind tobacco smoke. Radon is responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths per year, with over 800 of those deaths in Georgia. Luckily, testing for radon is easy and exposure to radon is preventable.
Test kits are available for $15 online and include the kit, shipping, lab analysis, and results.
If the radon level in your home is elevated, you can install a system to reduce it to an acceptable level. The most used system is a pipe and fan that pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it outside.
Another source of radon exposure is private well drinking water. In Georgia, wells drilled into granitic crystalline rock aquifers, usually in the northern part of the state, are at risk of naturally occurring radon contamination. If you don’t know whether there is radon in your well water, have the water tested. The UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories in Athens test water samples for radon.
To learn more about radon and what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe go to www.UGAradon.org.
Carbon Monoxide Gas In Your Home
Dangerous gas may be lurking inside your home. Most people are familiar with carbon monoxide (CO). This deadly gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. Each year, unintentional CO poisoning results in over 400 deaths in the U.S. There are several sources of CO in your home. These include fuel-burning appliances like water heaters, heating systems, space heaters, generators, and fumes from vehicles idling in an attached garage. The most common warning signs of CO poisoning are headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and confusion. If someone is displaying these symptoms, get them outside the house immediately then call 911. There are several simple things you can do to prevent CO poisoning. One of the most important things is to install a battery operated CO detector or one with battery backup near sleeping areas. You should also have your heating system inspected annually by trained service technicians.