Cheyenne, Wyo. On Sunday night at 6 p.m., the popular ABC television program "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will blow up a home in Cheyenne, Wyo. The home is being destroyed to eliminate elevated radon gas levels that are thought to be causing respiratory illnesses to the family living there. The problem is that local radon industry leaders don't think the explosion will get rid of the radon.
Save the dynamite
"It is critical for people to be aware of the dangers of radon," states local industry expert and Protect Indoor Air Quality Services president Kyle Hoylman. "But we want people to know that although a big explosion makes for good TV ratings, no reference in the Environmental Protection Agency protocols for radon mitigation suggests blowing up a home. In fact, a newly built home on the same site will most likely have the same radon problem, since most radon is emitted from the ground underneath the home - not from the home itself."
How can I protect my family from radon?
The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend that all homes be tested for elevated radon, and when levels exceed 4.0 pCi/l, homeowners should work with a certified radon mitigator to have the home fixed. Radon can be reduced to safe levels in all homes, so there is no need to blow one up when high levels are found!
What is radon?
Radon is a natural, odorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, killing an estimated 21,000 Americans each year. A recent study by the University of North Dakota also suggests radon may be linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
For a free radon test kit and more information about radon and its health risks, contact Elisa Shackelton at the CSU Moffat County Extension Office. Free test kits also are available at Extension Offices in Routt, Rio Blanco, Jackson and Grand Counties through a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.