Radon Gases and New Home Construction
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless and radioactive gas emitted from soils into buildings. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can become trapped in lungs during breathing. As they break down further, these particles release small bursts of energy that damage lung tissue and can lead to lung cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause over all, causing approximately 21,000 American deaths annually (National Academy of Science, US Environmental Protection Agency).
In Florida, high levels of radon have been found in all types of buildings. The only way to find out if radon is a problem is to test. Once discovered, the only way to protect against a radon problem is to install and operate a radon reduction system. When building a new home we should consider using radon resistant new construction (RRNC) practices found in the Florida Building Code.
Nationally, an average of one out of 15 homes has elevated radon and in Florida, about one out of five homes. Radon is found in all regions of Florida and in all types of buildings regardless of age or size; radon can be found in a one-story house or a 20-story condominium building.
The level of radon exposure in homes, schools and other buildings can be determined through a simple test. The level of radon can be tested using a radon test kit, which can be found in most hardware stores, or by hiring a Florida certified radon-testing business. However, the risks of radon can be reduced in these buildings by planning for and installing radon resistant construction features.
To prevent dangerous radon exposure, the FHBA, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the US Environmental Protection Agency suggest:
- All homeowners should test their homes for radon. Self-test kits are available online and at many retail outlets, or you can hire a DOH-certified radon measurement professional.
- Homeowners should address elevated radon-related problems immediately. The cost is similar to other medium-cost home repairs or a high-end appliance.
- New homes should include radon-resistant features (RRNC) which can be easily and inexpensively installed during initial construction. These features are especially important in areas reporting elevated radon levels.
Learn more about radon testing at the SEBC on Saturday, July 13, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Continuing Education (CEUs) $
This course will provide the students with an understanding of the "Active and Passive Radon Construction Principles and Practices" that exist within the Florida Statutes, Rules of the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Building Code for all classes of Contractors and Building Department Personnel.
Provider: BOAF-FHBA Construction Training, Provider No. 0004764, Course #0608241 CEUs: 1 Hour ( Includes 1 hour of General)
Speaker: Dave Carter, Consulting Engineers, LLC, Winter Haven, FL
For more information about radon or free radio or TV public service announcements, visit the DOH radon website at http://radon.doh.state.fl.us or contact the DOH Radon Hotline at 1-800-543-8279.