Radon Gas Risks

Glenn Compton
The Florida Health Department states that nearly one out of every 5 homes in Florida is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4pCi/L or more).

According to the EPA, "Breathing radon over time increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Nationally, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.”
 
Yet, EPA has done little in the past few years to communicate to the public the health risks associated with radon gas exposure. 
 
Radon is probably the greatest single environmental hazard facing the American public today. 
 
EPA first recognized exposure to elevated indoor concentrations of radon gas as a potential health problem in the 1960s when certain homes in Colorado were found to have been built with materials contaminated by uranium mill tailings. In the 1970s, EPA discovered that some homes in Florida built on reclaimed phosphate land had elevated radon levels.
 
The current radon gas notification in all Florida real estate sales and leases is grossly deficient.
 
Section 404.056 F.S. requires the following notice be included in all residential real estate transactions:
 
"RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Additional information regarding radon and radon testing may be obtained from your county health department." 
 
The current notification is meaningless since there is no mechanism requiring homes or other buildings to be repaired if they exceed radiation standards; they do not have a "notification to buyers" provision that requires disclosure of known elevated radon gas levels.
 
To remedy this deficiency, ManaSota-88 supports the following:
 
1. The development of EPA standards limiting radon exposure to .01 WL. Current EPA standards allow for exposure of nearly 4 times this amount. Adoption of a radon standard of .01 WL is economically and technically feasible. 
 
2. Florida law should allow tax relief for homeowners that correct radon problems in existing buildings. 
 
3. Radon measurements should be taken in all Florida homes. 
 
4. Florida law should require a notification provision in all deeds and leases of property stating the buildings meet state and federal radon guides or standards. 
 
It has been decades since Floridians were first warned of the dangers of radon exposure. We cannot afford to wait for real and adequate protection from Florida's number one pollutant. 
 

Glenn Compton is the Chairman of ManaSota 88, a non-profit organization that has spent over 30 years fighting to protect the environment of Manatee and Sarasota counties.


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Reader Comments
Charlie
MAY 08, 2022  •  This make way too much sense . . . . for Florida.


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