Several news reports are declaring the week of October 17 to October 24 as National Radon Awareness Week. There’s even an official press release, with comment from a radon mitigation company called Air Quality Control Agency, and a dedicated website.
Trouble is, no one seems to know the origin of the week-long campaign, including the folks at the Air Quality Control Agency. As for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it’s always designated January as National Radon Action Month.
Something stinks here. But it’s not the radon, an odorless, colorless gas responsible for 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. So even though National Radon Awareness Week appears to be a fabrication of the radon mitigation industry, we’ll take the opportunity to remind you again about the dangers of the gas, which increase during winter when consumers tend to keep their windows closed.
Radon results from the natural decay of uranium that's present in most soils and can enter a home through cracks in the foundation. If you’re concerned about exposure, Consumer Reports reviewed several radon test kits. Some costing as little as $20 can tell you if you need to invest in a radon-reduction system, which can cost several thousand dollars.