Dear Consumer Ed:

I saw an advertisement for radon testing. Do I need to have my home tested? How can I be sure that the person I hire to test and/or remedy any problem is reputable?

Consumer Ed says: 

For the answer to this question, we went to the Department of Community Affairs. Here is their response:

Yes, your home should be tested. Many people do not realize how dangerous and prevalent radon is. The facts are that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., after tobacco smoking, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and kills more than 22,000 people each year. Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible radioactive gas released by the natural decay of uranium in our soils and rocks. Outdoors, radon does not pose a threat because it is quickly diluted by the atmosphere. However, if radon seeps into your home from the soil beneath it, the gas can reach hazardous levels.

Although high radon levels are more common in northern Georgia and the metro Atlanta area, all homes in Georgia should be tested. You can do this easily and inexpensively by getting a home test kit. If the test results indicate a high radon level, you can have professional testing done to see if you need to install a mitigation system to reduce the radon level.

To ensure that the radon professional you hire is qualified, we strongly advise consumers to use testers and mitigators who are certified by one of the two national radon training organizations. You can visit their websites to find certified professionals in your area:

   •    National Environmental Health Association - www.radongas.org
   •    National Radon Safety Board - www.nrsb.org

To learn more about radon and to order a home test kit, visit the UGA Radon Education Program website at www.ugaradon.com or call Ginger Bennett at 770-535-8290.

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