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I lived in a house on Alameda Ridge in northeast Portland for a little while. It's an area that's known for high levels of radon. At that time, I didn't know anything about this radioactive gas. That is until my neighbors told me their house had hugely elevated levels and that we really had to have our house tested. Needless to say, it scared me. And it still does. Radon is a gas that you can't see, smell, or taste. It seeps into our homes, often through cracks and gaps in the foundation.
According to the Surgeon General, radon is the number two cause of lung cancer in the United States — causing about 21,000 deaths each year. It is easy to test your house for radon and relatively easy to remove it. But a lot of people still don't do it.
Oregon Field Guide has produced the following segment on radon. It airs Thursday night on OPB TV:
Have you had your house tested for radon? What did you find out? What did you do about it? If you chose not to test, why not?