Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Yesterday I attended an all-day class for continuing education sponsored by the Cayuga Board of Realtors at the Holiday Inn in Auburn.  About 50 Realtors were in attendance;  I had expected more from Skaneateles but saw only Tom, Suzanne and Romy.  It was a great place to hold it - the Holiday Inn was most accommodating with a full breakfast (bacon!) prior to the class and then lunch.  The room was pleasant - not too cold and not too warm for once.  And they asked about the temperature!  Most importantly, Auburn is so close.  Usually we trek up to North Syracuse and need to allow a good 40 minutes each way.  Makes for a long day.

Radon.  The presentation was sponsored by Rutgers University.  The instructor was a radon expert and currently a mitigator and tester.  I must say I learned a lot - actually I learned too much to remember it all, but there was great information that I am sure will arise in conversation in the future.  I also know that I am calling a company today to test my own mitigation system to make sure it is still running and reducing the radon in the house, and that the placement of the pipe is accurate (after 11 years of being here) and the fan is small and not wasting electricity.  Most importantly, that we are not exposed to this dangerous gas.

Some facts:

  • Over 21,000 deaths per year are attributed to exposure to radon
  • Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States
  • While the 4.0 pCi/L is the standard in the United States, the better rate to use is under 2.7 according to the World Health Organization
  • Granite emits radon, though not at a level that is dangerous unless close to the surface or in confined areas (such as tiny Manhattan apartments)
  • Mitigation piping works by sucking the gas up from the soil beneath the house and letting it blow out into the atmosphere
  • A house should be tested for radon every two to three years - it changes
  • Onondaga and Cayuga counties are areas in which there is a higher frequency of homes with radon
  • Once exposed, limit any additional exposure of radiation
  • Unoccupied houses test much lower than occupied ones
  • Living in a home with 10 pCi/L of radon is like smoking a pack of cigarettes per day
  • One out of every six homes has a radon issue
Worthwhile day?  Certainly.