VENICE (WWSB) - A follow up now on a story we first told you about yesterday when we introduced you to a couple living in the Waterside Village Condominiums in Venice. The couple recently learned there was a toxic, radioactive gas inside their home.
That gas is called radon, and you can’t see it, smell it, or even taste it. The only way to know it’s inside your home is by performing a test with a radon kits. It’s also the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. That’s why the Florida Department of Health recommends everyone test for radon.
Yes, it’s a silent killer. It’s pretty much invisible and gives humans absolutely no symptoms when you breathe it in. Radon is a gas formed when uranium breaks down, and occurs naturally in the soil. High levels can build up underneath homes and buildings and then seep through inside of them, but it could possibly also be coming from your actual home.
“Radon is also used to make concrete materials: block, floor concrete – which a lot of homes have exterior block walls, your floors are concrete. Condos that are three, four floors could all imitate form that material as well, so it comes from different sources from concrete and the soil,” Gregg Zetzman, the owner of Radon Authority, explained.
It becomes present in the air through floor cracks and gaps. Shockingly. The Florida Department of Health says that one in every five homes in Florida has high levels of radon, and the majority don’t even know they’re breathing in this chemical because it’s not mandatory to test for it.
“It’s a simple test and it can be corrected, and it shouldn’t be overlooked by people when they’re either buying a home or in their own home,” Zetzman said.
Sarasota County gives away free radon level testing kits that come with step-by-step instructions, and once you see the results, there are some ways you can start reducing those levels until you get the help to mitigate the gas completely.
“Ventilation is what is primarily used to reduce radon level. If you open your windows and doors, and you have a breeze like today coming through, it’ll help greatly bringing those levels down," said Zetzman.
Radon can be present in any home, regardless of the age or type of home. . A safe radon level measures 4 pico curies, anything higher than that can be extremely harmful.
a reminder for those of you who are renting or purchasing a home, be sure that to ask about the radon policy in your contract, and to see what the last test results for radon were inside the building.