Radon Sneaks Up On City

Discussion about the danger posed by radon was more than theoretical for Alderwoman Karen Young last week.

“It hit very close to home,” she said by telephone Tuesday.

Young bought a 60-year-old house at auction that she said tested positive July 9 for three times the safe level of radon set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Although no ordinance called for it, she ordered the radon test a week before her family, including a 22-month-old grandchild, moved in.

Young said she spent $850 to install a radon vent system that rendered the house safe.

“It’s a small price to pay,” she said, considering that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The EPA cites radon as a particular danger to the very young, the elderly and frail.

When it was time to adopt the city’s residential building codes July 15, Young was glad the discussion turned to radon.

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