2012 drought conditions increase risks of radon in residences

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 12:30 AM

(KMOV.com) -- As a result of last summer’s drought, St. Louis homes are seeing high levels of radon gas.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and can drastically affect home value markets.

The dry conditions cause soil to contract, making it easier for radon to seep into homes.

“Number one is it can cause a crack in the slab or foundation wall that allows ease of access for radon to get into the home,” said Mark Engel with Advanced Radon Control. “The earth pulls away so the radon has an easier path to get to the home itself.”

Radon is a natural bi-product of the decay of uranium in the soil. Systems can be installed in homes that draw the invisible gas from under the foundation of the home and vent it outside.

Residents can buy a radon detection kit for as little at $10.

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