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January is radon month for me because this is when I focus on telling people about it.  Allow me to explain why I do this.

When you are buying a home, part of the process involves a home inspection.  Home inspections are usually done in 3 sections – structural, wood destroying pests and radon.  It’s easy for most home buyers to understand why they need a structural and pest inspection.  Radon is something most know nothing about but it’s extremely important.

Radon is a gas that occurs when uranium and radium breaks down in the soil or in rock formations.  As a result, it’s a normal natural process.  When this gas is released, it can build up to dangerous levels in a house.  Dangerous levels cause lung cancer.  Few homeowners know if their home has a safe level.  As a result radon is a leading cause of lung cancer.

Not only is it dangerous, it’s clear and odorless.  Because of this you can’t tell if your home has acceptable levels. The only way to discover if you do is to test for it.  This does not always happen as it should.

Home buyers rarely re-test after they’ve moved in.  There are also many people who purchased their home before it became a known issue.  Most have never tested to see if their home is safe from this dangerous gas. As a result, there are many people living in homes without accurate information on their exposure to this gas.

The good news is that you can solve a radon problem through contacting a licensed radon mitigation contractor.  This often involves a simple ventilation system in your basement.  Contractors typically install it in one day.

Bergen County Executive, Kathleen Donovan, announced that there will be a limited number of free radon testing kits for Bergen County residents on a first come first served basis this month.  Just call the Bergen County Department of Health Services at 201-634-2803 or stop by Room 103A, 327 E. Ridgewood Ave in Paramus to pick up your free testing kit.  Do this today to protect yourself and your family!

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