Radon at Tahoe


The Problem

The Solution

The Present

The Future


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The Future

"Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

First, a look to the Past
20 Years of National Radon Results - 1985-2003
(How Have We Done?)

What has been the result of our efforts over the past 20 years? This is from the EPA Indoor Air Quality - Radon web site (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/) :
"Since radon’s advent as a National health concern in the mid-1980s, the United States has made significant progress (?) in reducing the risk from radon. This progress is the result of a long-term effort between EPA, citizens, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, the business community, and other Federal agencies working together. Since 1985, millions of homes have been tested for radon, and an estimated 800,000 homes have been mitigated. In addition, approximately 1.2 million new homes have been built with radon-resistant features since 1990. EPA will continue to focus its risk reduction on mitigating existing homes and building new homes radon-resistant. As a result of these actions through 2003, EPA estimates that as many as 650 future lung cancer deaths are prevented (lives saved) each year (emphasis mine)."

Does it bother anyone besides me that in the last 20 years, the best we could do is to reduce radon induced cancer deaths by only 650 out of 21,000 per year? That's only a 3% reduction; not per year but over the entire 20 year period! I don't think I would call that "significant progress." I understand that many people worked hard on the problem for the past 20 years, but if we are going to judge the process by the results produced, we may want to consider some changes to our overall plan in the future. Radon is still mostly unknown or ignored, despite our best efforts to date. If we really want to reduce deaths in the future, we are going to have to make a greater impact on society.

Here is my (modest) list of goals and wishes upon which policies and procedures could be built to produce a more radon free, and hence a more cancer free future.

My Goals and Wishes

  • Everyone will understand the dangers of radon exposure.

  • All houses will be tested and houses with high levels of radon will be fixed

  • More radon testers and mitigators will be trained and certified

  • All real estate transactions will required a radon test and subsequent mitigation if needed, similar to the termite tests required today.

  • All renters will be assured that they are living in a radon-free rental.

  • All property owners will test and mitigate their rental properties.

  • The fear of getting sued will not stop anyone from testing and fixing a high radon level.

  • The Government will declare a legal amnesty for a 10 year time period (or some such legal scheme) so landlords can test for and correct problems without fear of getting sued by their tenants for a problem neither party knew existed.

  • All plans for remodels will require radon tests.

  • All new construction will incorporate Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) techniques.

  • Plan checkers and building inspectors will be trained in radon mitigation and RRNC.

  • Homeowner associations on the national, state and local levels will draft policies to encourage or require their members to test all rental units and repair those that need it.

  • Real estate associations on the national, state and local levels will encourage or require that all members include a radon test in all transactions.

  • Schools, office, and industrial buildings will be tested and repaired if high levels are found.

  • We will loose the grip of radon paralysis, and boldly move ahead to test and correct any problems we find.

  • The news media will run stories on radon problems and solutions.

  • The government agencies will adapt stronger guidelines and regulations regarding radon

  • We will freely share our knowledge to help others solve this problem around the world.

  • Rotary, Optimists, Soroptimists, Kiwanis and other community organizations will each donate $650 to purchase 100 radon test kits to be given away to publicize the ease of testing and to encourage testing of houses that might otherwise not get tested.

If we implement policies and regulations to reach these goals, we will likely see a better reduction in radon induced cancer deaths in the next 20 years than we have seen in the last 20 years.


Since it has proven so difficult to motivate people to test their homes for radon, I invite you to visit the Marketing Page where together we can discuss and find new ways to promote radon awareness and action.

The Radon Time Table has been moved to its own page: The Present