Radon: The Silent Killer
By John Voket, RISMedia Field Correspondent
Unless you or your home (or business) has been directly affected by it, you may not know about the potentially life threatening affects of radon.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, you can't see radon - and you can't smell it or taste it. But radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer.
Radon can be found all over the U.S. because it comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air we breathe. You and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.
With this in mind, you should acquaint yourself with the folks who can help you understand and possibly prevent falling victim to radon poisoning (and plenty of other environmental concerns) if you are in the market for a home.
Connecticut-based Environmental Data Resources (EDR) generates more than 750,000 commercial environmental risk reports annually for environmental professionals, lenders, attorneys, corporations, insurance companies, government agencies and real estate professionals.
EDR has opened up its information pool to residential customers in the form of the EDR Neighborhood Environmental ReportTM.
EDR tailors its reports to the residential market based on affordability and the most pertinent concerns. Ben Cesare, EDR's managing director of residential real estate services said even if you located all public records relating to the address in question, you would still have to search the address next door, across the street and behind you.
That's where EDR's report adds value, which searches and locates records within 300 feet of the property and beyond, depending on the type and severity of the records being searched.
"Obviously, invasive environmental contamination doesn't respect property lines," he adds. The 300-foot or six-acre radius in a basic report will give clients a first screen, an idea, if they are exposed to vapor intrusion of harmful contaminates, which enter the home much like radon.
And if you like to do your own homework, check out the U.S. EPA's 40-page guide for radon detection, testing and reduction - it's a great resource for home buyers and sellers. It's an easy way to learn about the dangers of radon, and the impact the discovery of radon can have on a real estate transaction.