Local Radon expert explains how to mitigate cancer-causing gas in homes

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January is Radon Awareness Month and is a good time to get your house checked out

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Six years ago when Joe Hudak went through the home-buying process, the word Radon never really came up. Now, it’s a common test for homes in this area and all over Northeast Ohio.

“I think we found out basically going through the home purchasing process and selling process,” Hudak said.

January is Radon Awareness Month, and Hudak joined many people taking advantage of a booming housing market by having a mitigation system installed on his new home Friday. He’s no stranger to this and said they had to have one installed on their old home before they could finalize the sale.

Radon is known to cause cancer, particularly lung cancer, over the long term. It comes from the core of the Earth and is the breakdown of Uranium.

While most homes are airtight, Radon comes from the soil and can still seep into the home. Mitigation systems are installed to suck the Radon out of the ground and dissipate it outside.

“It’s something to be taken serious[ly], especially now and with the year we just had. People are looking and realizing more about our health and checking things,” said Joe Khoury, the owner of Radon Raiders.

The first thing he and his partner, Clarence, do is check out the slab of the home. They look for cracks or anywhere air could seep through. If a home has a sump pump, like Hudak’s, they seal it off, drill a hole in the seal, put a pipe in it and run that to a fan outside the home, which sucks the Radon out.

Khoury also said sometimes they use the walls; it just depends on the home.

“I don’t ever want to see somebody get sick because of their home, and it’s very, very common in our area, especially northeastern Ohio. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, so I mean, it is a big deal,” Khoury said.

While the effects of Radon could make a person uneasy, it’s not immediate. There’s no need to worry right away, as long as it’s taken care of in a timely manner, which is why Hudak said he wasn’t immediately worried, but he is happy it is done.

“Sense of security that things have been taken care of and we can feel safe,” Hudak said.

Khoury explained a few types of tests: One is a continuous monitor test, used by professionals. It’s a device that’s put in the basement of a home for 48 hours, and it reads the Radon levels. This machine is linked to the user’s phone and quicker than other options.

He also showed a charcoal canister test kit, which can be purchased by homeowners and is more economical. It’s the same concept, but it’s mailed to a lab for reading after two to four days. He said the results are typically given back to the homeowner in about a week.

“Testing is a big deal, and January being Radon Awareness Month, it’s a good time for everybody to think about having their house checked out and seeing if it’s something that they need to take care of,” Khoury said.

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