June 21 was the official first day of summer. Summer brings the outdoor fun and, for many of us, finding a cool spot inside to beat the heat.
A recent study found that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. It is safe to say having a healthy place to call home is important!
A healthy home includes eight basic principles: clean, dry, pest-free, safe, contaminant free, ventilated, well-maintained and temperature controlled. For ideas on fixing home health issues or preventing future accidents, you can also visit the UGA extension website for a copy of “Healthy Homes: Room by Room Checklist.”
In order to be safe in our homes, we need to educate ourselves on possible pollutants and contaminants. One contaminant in particular that disturbs our area is radon gas.
Recently compiled data* showed that 35% of the 3,181 households tested in Hall County presented elevated levels of radon in their homes.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. This gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless. The only way to know it is in our homes is to test for it.
Since it is naturally occurring, there will always be trace amounts around us and that is okay! It only becomes harmful to us if we are exposed to high levels over long periods of time.
The good news is, high levels of exposure to the gas are preventable. You can test your home and lower the levels in your home if necessary. Any type of home can have high levels of radon and those levels can be fixed. That can be done by hiring a certified mitigation company. There is a list of those companies located on our website, fcs.uga.edu/radon.
National Healthy Homes Month would be a great time to test your home for radon. Radon in air kits are available for purchase on our website. You may also want to consider testing well water for levels of radon if you find elevated levels in the air. Homeowners on city water do not have to test for radon in water.
If you are interested in learning more about radon or attending a radon education program, please contact me at 770-535-8293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carin Booth is the family and consumer sciences agent at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Office in Hall County. Her column runs monthly.