Radon at Tahoe


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December, 2011 - Tahoe Mountain News


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July 21, 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune


June, 2011 Tahoe Mountain News

May, 2011 Tahoe Mountain News
No ad run


April, 2011 Tahoe Mountain News

My idea was to capitalize on the awakened concern about radiation from the terrrible Japanese nuclear accident. Not scare tactics, but come on folks, why the worry over radiation from a nuclear pllant disaster when we ignore the radiation in our own homes? Maybe I should have used that text in the ad!

March, 2011 Tahoe Mountain News

I decided to run some advertising in the Tahoe Mountain News aimed at potential home buyers. Home buyers have the most to gain from testing a home purchase for radon. Unfortunately some sellers (and some real estate agents) avoid radon testing because they view it as a "deal killer." The truth is that any house can be fixed and the process need not disturb the sale.

This ad displays the very real (but often overlooked) statistic that 40% of our homes on the South Shore have elevated radon, that is, testing above the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L (picocurries per liter). Actually the World Health Organization (WHO) just set a lower "fix-it" standard of 2.7 pCi/L for the international community and the US EPA is considering lowering theirs as well, which would certainly include more houses.

The number 40% comes from the zip code database of all radon tests taken in the state and analysed by certified radon labs. The database is compiled by the California Department of Health Services Radon Program and is available on their web site. The nine postal zip codes that make up the El Dorado County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin, 96150 through 96158, had a total of 1547 radon tests sent to labs, of which 612 were 4 pCi/L or greater, hence 40%. Click here to view the spreadsheet and chart of the Tahoe area. Click here to view the State radon database.

The 77% figure comes from a different source, using geological factors and population density to determine radon potential for an area and number of people likely to be exposed. The California Geological Survey published Special Report 211 in 2009 (the ad mistakenly stated 2007): Radon Potential in the Lake Tahoe Area, California. According to the 2000 Census statistics, 33,913 people live in the El Dorado County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The Geological Survey determined that 25,610 people live within a "Very High Radon Potential Zone." That comes to 75.5%. I appologize for over-stating the risk by 1.5% in the current ad. I will correct it in the next ad to read 89% live in either High or Very High radon potential zone. Click here to display the chart where these numbers appear. Click here to view the map with zones in color. Click here to download or view the full report.

January, Febrary, 2011 Tahoe Mountain News