A relieved Dee Sheffer talked with Radon Safe's George Sardell as he remediated her home.
Dee Sheffer read an article concerning Radon in the Roanoke Times on January 27, 2009. She already had the Radon Testing kit because she read granite counters can give off radon gas and happened to pickup one on a trip to Lowes. Sheffer kept the back page of the article and one day in February she decided to call about Radon to one of the numbers listed. The advice-go ahead and set it out. So she did.
The results were frightening to say the least, her Ashley Plantation home that is about four years old, registered 9.4. Over five points higher than the EPA recommendation of 4.1. What she discovered about Botetourt County astounded her.
According to the Virginia Department of environmental Quality’s Radon site pie chart, 35 % of the homes in Botetourt are above the EPA recommended level of Radon in the home. 4.1.
Sheffer, a retired high school teacher at Lord Botetourt immediately became concerned not only for herself and her family, but for the multitudes of families in the county who may not read a paper or be aware of what Radon does.
What does Radon do? According to the American Lung Association: “Radon enters a home through cracks in walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings. It may also contaminate the water supply, especially in private wells.”
The website continued, “Over a person’s lifetime, particulate radon progeny can enter the lungs, attach themselves, and may eventually lead to lung cancer. Radon is believed to cause between 15,000 and 21,000 U.S. deaths from lung cancer annually.”
Smokers exposed to Radon substantially increase their risk of lung cancer in comparison to exposed non-smokers said the American Lung Association.
Curtis Blevins, a remediator in Salem, added these facts about Radon, “Wind and rain will increase radon seeking a way through homes. Some times of the year are worse than others. Radon is everywhere around us and it will not hurt you in the outdoors but can be detrimental indoors.”
Sheffer chose to take quick action at home. On February 19, Radon Safe came to her house to remediate. A hole was drilled in her basement floor and a PVC pipe set-up complete with a fan situated through her wall into the shrubbery outside to pull the Radon gas from her home into the outside air.
George Sardell who has owned Radon Safe for 2 years said, “Radon is rampant in Botetourt. Most people have their children playing in basements or watch television down there. Lung cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, so why take the chance? If you sell a home with a high level, you will have to remediate anyway. Do it now while you and your family are living in the home.”
“After the remediation, Sheffer’s home tested a bout a 1.” said Sardell.
“It was a little pricey to remediate ( less than $2,000,”) she said, “but every one should do this. Every family with children in Botetourt should look into a Radon test-they only cost about $12 and it was worth it to find out what is going on. I have been told a Radon test above 4.1 is the equivalent to 10 cigarettes per day. ” For more statistics try the Virginia Department of Health website.
Dee Sheffer checks out the radon fan on the outside of her home.