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Health Mold

Seasonal Allergies? A Cold? COVID? Something Else?

Seasonal Allergies? A Cold? COVID? Something Else?

This is going to be another nerve-wracking allergy season, as every sneeze, sniffle and cough will spark concern. Our best advice is to try not to panic. There can be several explanations for a cough that might have nothing to do with the coronavirus at all.

During this time of the year, flu, the common cold, and seasonal allergies cause respiratory distress. And now, with us spending so much time indoors, there can be allergens – like mold – that can be causing runny noses and coughs.

Here are a few things to consider about your symptoms.

Check for a Fever

Check for feverIf you are running a fever, this pretty much rules out allergies. But the fever might be caused by the flu, a virus, a cold or something else.

Seasonal Allergies or Cold

itchy eyesDoctors note that cold is not usually associated with itchy eyes, so if your eyes are red and irritated, you may be allergic to pollen or an allergen like mold. If you have a cough with no fever, it likely doesn’t mean that you’ve contracted the coronavirus. Check with your physician if in doubt.

Is it a Mold Allergy?

If you are having respiratory issues and other symptoms when you are in one location that clear up when you move elsewhere, it’s a good sign that you have a mold allergy. Signs of a mold allergy and symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Cough and postnasal drip
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

If your allergy symptoms do occur in one place more than another, you may want to have the location tested for mold. RTK safely performs mold testing, as it is regarded as an essential service. Call us at 800.392.6468 to schedule a test or if you have any questions.

About Coronavirus

coronavirusThe World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report on coronavirus symptoms. It found that almost 90% of COVID-19 patients had a fever, and nearly 70% had a dry cough. Additional symptoms of coronavirus have included:

  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

The bottom line is, when in doubt, check with your physician. If you believe you have a mold problem, call RTK at 800.392.6468.

Categories
Mold Mold Testing

Four Things Insurers Need to Know About Environmental Testing

Four Things Insurers Need to Know About Environmental Testing

 

With insurance standards constantly being changed and updated, it’s hard to get a handle on what’s important right now. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top things’ insurers should know about environmental testing.

  1. To help avoid liability issues, test for asbestos prior to mold remediation.

test for asbestos before removing moldThe most experienced adjusters and agents know that a claim can become a lot larger if mold remediation is not conducted properly. This even includes accidentally contaminating a home because walls, tiles, or ceilings containing asbestos or lead were ripped out without proper precautions being taken, contaminating a much larger area. Aside from that, testing for asbestos prior to mold remediation is a good idea in general to protect the health of the insured and the workers on the job. (It can also shield you from further liability.)

 

  1. “Cleaning” mold is not an alternative to remediation.

mold remediationA recent article in PropertyCausalty360 states that killing mold is not enough for an insurance claim. The current standard of care uniformly emphasizes physical removal as the primary means of mold remediation. Since most home and business policies have caps on the amount paid out to deal with mold remediation, smart adjusters won’t waste time and money with ineffective solutions.

The best solution to the problem is remediation. According to the article, because there are no federal mold remediation rules in place, the industry was left to establish its own standards for dealing with mold contamination. Numerous government agencies, industry associations, and private organizations agree that the best practice is to pinpoint the mold through independent testing, then hire a different contractor to physically remove the mold following the blueprint provided by the testing company.

mold claimSome states, including New York, require accreditation and licensing for the companies or individuals who do mold inspections and removal. The rules also do not allow the same company to conduct testing and renovation on the same job. In other unregulated states, like Connecticut and New Jersey, many testing and remediation companies don’t have the requisite training and knowledge. These consultants and contractors often opt for alternate methods of removal such as using sprays, mists, and fogs to treat and remediate mold. Low standards can create potential problems for insurers. An adjuster who unwittingly recommends a contractor whose work is outside of what is determined as “acceptable industry practice” can be liable for more than the covered loss.

 

  1. Clearance testing is critical to prevent future claims.

clearance testingOnce mold remediation has been completed, it is vitally important to do follow-up clearance testing to ensure the mold was removed properly. This way, if there is a new claim for mold from the same claimant, you can be sure that the new problem was not caused by the initial problem, which could open you up to liability. Additionally, if the insured comes back to you complaining of health symptoms and demanding additional payment, you’ll have proof that it wasn’t caused by the remediation.

 

  1. Working with a qualified, unbiased testing company which does not do remediation can save you money.

Not every mold testing company is the same. There are those that do both testing and remediation, which is a clear conflict of interest. For, the more mold they say they find, the more they stand to make in the remediation to follow.

RTK Environmental only does testing and never remediation, so you can rest assured our results are unbiased and accurate. Additionally, RTK provides you with a blueprint for remediation. By removing mold only in the specific areas designated, you can potentially save thousands of dollars son unnecessary remediation costs. And with our fast turnaround times, you can reduce the cost of ALE.

Contact RTK to schedule an inspection for your claim today. Click here or call 800.392.6468.

 

Categories
Lead Inspector's Notebook

New York City’s New Lead Laws: What Building Owners and Managers Need to Do Now

New York City’s New Lead Laws: What Building Owners and Managers Need to Do Now

 

New York City announced in 2019 that the lead laws were going to change significantly to better protect tenants from lead poisoning. While many of these rules don’t go into effect right away, the time is now to start preparing so that you will be compliant. Here are the most time-sensitive new requirements.

XRF Inspections to be Required for All Units

XRF lead paint testing

Effective August 9, 2021, Local Law 31 of 2020, states that owners must have XRF lead inspections of all surfaces in every unit conducted by a third-party EPA-certified inspector or risk assessor to determine whether lead paint is present in the dwelling. These inspections must be completed within five years of the effective date of the law, which is August 9, 2025, OR within one year of a child under 6 first residing in that unit, whichever is sooner. Residing in a unit is defined as spending 10 or more hours per week there. In such cases, an XRF test must be completed for that unit quickly.

“This is going to be critical to do sooner rather than later, because the new lead law redefined multiple dwellings to include one- and two-family house rentals, with the exception being units occupied by the owner’s family,” notes Robert Weitz, Principal of RTK Environmental. “That means a lot more buildings are going to require lead testing.”

Certification of Compliance with Local Law 1 in HPD’s Annual Property Registration

As of May of 2020, New York City’s annual property registrations include five questions. The property owner or manager must certify that it has complied with Local Law 1, or there are steep penalties that can cost you up to $10,000.

Owners or property managers must certify that they:

  • have provided tenants annual lead paint notices
  • have taken appropriate action to obtain responses from the occupants
  • are conducting annual inspections and providing the results to tenants
  • are correcting any lead hazards by using certified contractors and RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) lead-safe work practices
  • abating lead paint between the times tenants occupy a unit and when it is vacant
  • maintaining documentation for 10 years.

Why test for lead now?

NYC local law 1August 2025 will be here before you know it. The closer you get to the date on which everyone must be compliant, the more challenging it will be to find a lead inspector with the proper XRF equipment, as they will be in high demand. This will likely lead to heftier fees for lead inspections as well. Smart owners and managers will hire a certified, independent lead assessor now to avoid surge pricing and the possibility of having to wait weeks or even months – for an inspector to be available.

If you need more incentive, as of 2020, contractors applying for Home Improvement License must certify that they are EPA certified in RRP. If they are not certified in RRP, they are prohibited from lead abatement and doing work that could potentially disturb lead paint. This means if a lead hazard is found, you may have to wait for a contractor to be available as well, which means you’ll be racking up those daily $250 fines.

What are lead-based paint hazards?

lead paint windowsillsA speck of lead dust the size of a grain of sand is enough to poison a child. That’s why it’s important to understand where lead lurks. Lead-based paint hazards include:

  • Dust from peeling paint, window sills, or doors
  • Damaged or peeling lead paint
  • Lead paint on:
    • Crumbling plaster or rotted wood
    • Window sills and any other surfaces that have been chewed on by children
    • Doors and windows that stick or rub together

Lead Poisoning Symptoms and Effects

With the new law, the blood lead level indicating that a child has been lead poisoned has been lowered from 10 to 5 ug/dl (retroactive to June 1, 2012), which is now consistent with the CDC guidelines. Even if a person appears to be healthy, they may have elevated blood lead levels, which can lead to complex health problems.

Lead poisoning can cause serious, irreversible damage including: brain damage, ADD and ADHD, aggressive behavior and tendencies for violence, damage to the nervous system, impaired growth, reproductive issues, lower IQ, and in extreme cases, coma or even death.

Be Smart!

Take the first steps to becoming compliant with New York City’s new lead laws. Contact RTK Environmental at 800.392.6468 or click here to schedule online. Our inspectors are EPA licensed and certified. And since we only do testing and never remediation, your results will be unbiased. Contact us today!

 

Categories
Indoor Air Quality & Radon Healthy Home

Study Reveals Home Indoor Air Quality is Worse Than Office

Study Reveals Home Indoor Air Quality is Worse Than Office

 

Indoor air pollution has been classified as one of the top five environmental health hazards. And in the United States, where it is estimated that we spend close to 90% of our time indoors, the quality of the air we breathe – indoors – can have an impact on our health. Since the pandemic, more people have been working remotely, which has led to higher than usual interest in the quality of the air they were breathing.

indoor air quality studyInterest in studying the impact of COVID-19 in different settings has led to higher scrutiny of the indoor air quality (IAQ) at homes during the lockdown. Researchers at Texas A&M recently published a pilot study that found that IAQ was worse in homes than in offices. Fine particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the home were significantly higher that offices, 90% of which were in compliance with environmental standards. The study also found a higher frequency of Sick Building Syndrome symptoms while working from home as the IAQ was worse at home.

Why is IAQ worse in homes than in the office?

“In the home, building materials, cleaning agents, air fresheners, adhesives, paints, pesticides and biological contaminants from poor ventilation systems all contribute to poorer air quality,” explains Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and principal of RTK Environmental Group. “There also may be dust from construction or renovation work that may contain lead or asbestos, mold, pesticides, chemicals from cleaning supplies, VOCs from new furniture or carpeting, and other airborne chemicals.”

office indoor air quality However, the likelihood of poor IAQ in office buildings can be lower because offices have better heating and air conditioning systems, as well as air filtration systems. “Offices are also more likely to maintain their HVAC systems, servicing them every 6 – 12 months and changing filters regularly, whereas homeowners may go years without taking these steps,” Weitz says.

He points out that homes today can be made to be airtight, reducing natural ventilation as they are controlled by HVAC systems. “A big difference between home and office HVAC systems is that non-residential buildings typically have a mechanical ventilation for outdoor air change, whereas homes could be closed up for months without significant fresh air exchange, depending on the season.”

basement office indoor air qualityWith estimates that 1 in 4 Americans are still working remotely, and that 22% of the workforce (36.2 million Americans) will continue to work remotely through 2025, indoor air quality is definitely something to monitor.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, poor indoor air quality poses a significant threat to well-being. Short-term symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, dry cough, skin irritations, irritated eyes, nose and throat, as well as fatigue. However, long-term exposure to poor IAQ can cause heart disease, respiratory diseases, and cancer, according to the EPA.

What can you do about poor IAQ?

First, have your home indoor air quality tested by an independent company like RTK. They will be able to identify or rule out the root causes of the VOCs or poor indoor air quality. This will give you the framework to plan your remediation. The EPA says that it’s most effective to find the sources of pollutants to improve IAQ. This may include sources that contain asbestos, mold, lead dust, or gas stoves that can be adjusted to reduce the level of emissions released in your house.

tips for better indoor air qualityYou also should consider bringing fresh air into your house by opening doors and windows. Even a small amount of fresh air can make a difference.

You may want to install air purifiers as well, as many filter out microscopic pollutants and particles from the air. HEPA and carbon filters are the best, but be aware that the HEPA filters particulate matter only, whereas carbon filters get rid of VOCs and odors. It’s best to have an air purifier with both types of filters.

If you are going to continue to work from home or if you are concerned about the quality of your indoor air in general, have your indoor air quality checked. If you would like to schedule an indoor air quality test, call (800) 392.6468 or click here. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Live well!

Categories
Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold

What Should I Expect From An Indoor Air Quality Test?

What Should I Expect From An Indoor Air Quality Test?

Maybe you haven’t been feeling well and neither you nor your physician can figure out why. Or maybe you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle and simply want to know if the level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in your home or workplace is acceptable.

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Uncategorized

How to Identify and Eliminate Top Home Safety Hazards Before They Wreak Havoc on Your Health

How to Identify and Eliminate Top Home Safety Hazards Before They Wreak Havoc on Your Health

 

If you’re like most people, you likely feel the safest in the comfort of your own home. Yet, depending on the age and condition of the structure, your house may pose a significant risk to your health. This is especially true if it contains common yet often undetectable (at least to the untrained eye) safety hazards. Read on to learn how to detect these hazards before they begin to wreak havoc on your health.

Poor Air Quality

causes of poor air quality

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, most adults spend 90% of their time inside and take an average of 20,000 breaths indoors per day. Yet, according to studies, the air inside most homes contains more pollutants than the outdoor air, even in the most industrialized cities. Polluted indoor air contributes to several health problems, including allergies, asthma, and some illnesses.

There are a few ways to determine if your indoor air quality is bad. First, look for common symptoms of air pollution in your body, such as shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, irritation, dizziness, and fatigue. You can also use an air quality monitor, which often costs less than $100, or invest in professional air quality testing from RTK Environmental Group.

Fire Hazards

top causes of firesA residential fire occurs every 66 seconds in the United States. Fires are a very real hazard, which is why it is crucial to take measures to prevent infernos. The top causes of residential fires include grills, faulty wiring, Christmas trees, electrical appliances, unattended stovetops, lighting, heat sources, and smoking.

You can prevent many house fires by keeping flammable materials away from heat and remaining vigilant when cooking or grilling. Have professionals inspect your wiring and heat systems annually, as issues may lie unseen beneath the surface.

Roof Leaks

roof leaksRoof leaks can lead to significant structural issues, such as damage to the ceiling, rafters, and walls. They also encourage mold growth, which can wreak havoc on your health and comfort. Unfortunately, many roof leaks are difficult to identify until they become substantial, which is why you should invest in annual roof inspections. If you had a leak, you should test for mold to avoid a bigger problem.

If a leak does necessitate roof repair or replacement, the cost of the job will depend largely on the roofing materials you need, labor costs, and the size of your roof. Do not try to cut corners by hiring amateur roofers. Instead, do a search for a “roof near me” and work with insured and certified roofers who are familiar with local building codes and permits and can do the job right the first time around.

Falling Hazards

top fall hazardsFall-related injuries are the most common household-related injuries that occur in the United States. Falls can result from loose floorboards, unsafe hand railings, slippery surfaces, wayward objects and other hazards. Take a few days to inspect your home for tripping hazards and correct them.

Carbon Monoxide

carbon monoxide hazardsCarbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. CO2 poisoning is easily preventable with carbon monoxide detectors, which alert you to the gas’s presence in your home.

Asbestos

Asbestos dangerIf your home was built during or before the 1980s, it may contain asbestos, a lung-cancer-causing agent. If you discover this material in your home, don’t panic, but do not disturb it either. Asbestos only becomes harmful once disturbed. Rather, contact a company that has experience in safe asbestos remediation. If you’re renovating and not sure if the materials you are planning to disturb is asbestos, have an asbestos test so you know what you are dealing with.

By knowing where common hazards lie in your home, you can take measures to eliminate them and keep your family safe. Ideally, you will invest in the help and equipment to identify the most common ones listed above.

Categories
Healthy Home Asbestos Lead Mold

4 Renovations to Make the Home Safer

4 Renovations to Make the Home Safer

 

The new year provides a perfect opportunity to start making sure that your house is in tip-top shape for the upcoming seasons. As the weather starts to get warmer, it’s important to make sure you don’t just cover the basics, but check that those out-of-sight, out-of-mind areas are on that to-do list too. Here are a few renovations for the home that will not only help make it safer but will also create a refresh for the new year.

1.   Repainting the House

lead paint hazard

A quick way to refresh any room is a quick repaint. It’s important to note that before starting this project, testing for lead paint is key to making sure this project doesn’t become something massive. If your home was built before the 1978, it’s more likely than not that the home was decorated with lead paint. Before you sand down and prime your walls, scheduling a lead inspection can help you pinpoint problem areas before starting.

Additionally, a new coat of paint will provide an extra layer of protection from moisture. By preventing this moisture, you’re less likely to experience mold and mildew, which will cause more damage later on. If you’re considering a repaint, make sure to sand and prime, in order to create a layer that is both appealing and protective.

 

2.   Update Leaky Sinks

update leaky sinkLeaky sinks and tubs are a moisture haven if not treated properly. Similar to wall moisture, dampness that accumulates from underneath sinks can cause mold growth, which can, in turn, cause asthma, allergies, and other health issues. While bleach can be a useful short-term fix, it’s best to get to the root of the problem and treat mold with a permanent solution.

Update your bathroom with new sinks to not only match your current interior but also provide a clean slate to curb future repairs. Replacing your bathroom vanity with a model that provides aeration for your sink pipes will help you avoid the potential for loose plumbing joints, condensation, and leaks. You can also make sure your shower and bathtub are updated with new pipes to help decrease the chance of repair later.

 

3.   Lighting and Electrical Changes

updated lighting Keeping your house well-lit is a great way to ensure that your home feels like it’s received a refresh without doing too much work. If the lights are flickering, or you feel as though you’ve used your circuit breaker one too many times, updating light fixtures and adding extra outlets can keep your home up-to-date and safe. Adding these updates to your fixtures and your outlets, not only will potentially increase your home’s value but will also save you money on your electricity bills going forward – a win-win heading into the new year!

 

4.   Refresh your Floors

refresh floorsThere are two options when it comes to updating the floors in your home: refinishing them, if they’re not currently scratched up from years of wear and tear, or replacing them with something newer. If you currently have carpet, updating to hardwood could be a great solution to the health of your home, as well as the people you live with.

Health conditions like allergies and asthma can be triggered by dust that accumulates in old carpets, so updating with hardwood flooring can get rid of grime, allergens, dust particles, etc., that can exist, giving your home a more breathable “fresh” start. This renovation may take the longest, but when finished will provide a great advantage to you in the new year. It improves the functionality of space and will offer you the ability to adjust rooms as your lifestyle changes. Once you have installed new floors, you may want to consider an indoor air quality test to ensure they are not emitting volatile organic compounds, which can cause negative repercussions on your health.

Whatever adjustments you’re making as the winter season takes full effect, it’s important that you’re making sure to stay safe, not just trying to revamp your home design.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Health Healthy Home

Unexplained Health Issues: When a Doctor Can’t Find Anything Wrong…

Unexplained Health Issues: When a Doctor Can’t Find Anything Wrong…

When a patient is not feeling well, chances are you look for the presence of disease. But if the symptoms persist and don’t appear to be caused by disease, they may be caused by an environmental hazard such as mold, lead, radon, asbestos, or even poor indoor air quality. So, it often makes sense to turn to a certified microbial inspector to test the patient’s home or workplace.

Categories
Inspector's Notebook Weitz Advice

Environmental Hazards on the Job: Are You Protected?

Environmental Hazards on the Job: Are You Protected?

Every day, workers in many industries, especially construction, remediation, abatement, and restoration, are potentially exposed to environmental hazards while on the job. At the very least, those workers are entitled to a safe work site, which is why they are protected by the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA rulesThe issue remains, however, whether those standards are adhered to. And that burden, generally, has fallen on the employer. However, if a worker is exposed and a lawsuit is filed, not only can the employer be liable, but many others could be held responsible as well, including the owner of the property. Always ask your contractor for an insurance certificate to be safe. Any way you look at it, there’s a simple solution to avoid the penalties, potential lawsuits, and harm to workers: test for environmental hazards first.

Worker’s Rights

osha asbestos ruleOSHA standards are rules that describe the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from hazards. According to OSHA, when workers are on a job site, they have the right to be protected from environmental toxins. Although there is no specific law in New York State or Connecticut requiring lead and asbestos testing prior to remediation or renovation work, insurance and remediation companies aren’t taking any chances; they are opting for pre-job environmental testing.

Workers also have the right to get copies of test results that find and measure hazards, and can file an anonymous complaint asking OSHA to inspect a workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules.

So, what are the OSHA’s rules?

Lead

osha lead rulesOSHA states that it is the duty of the employer to ensure that no employee is exposed to lead at concentrations greater than fifty micrograms per cubic meter of air (50 ug/m3) averaged over an 8-hour period. That said, no amount of exposure to lead is safe. Lead poisoning causes irreparable neurological damage, autism-like symptoms, reproductive issues, violent behavior, and more.

Lead exposure can occur through demolition, flame-torch cutting, welding, use of heat guns, sanders, scrapers, or grinders to remove lead paint, and abrasive blasting of steel structures. In construction, lead is also frequently contained in roofing materials, cornices, tank linings, and electrical conduits. In plumbing, soft solder, used chiefly for soldering tinplate and copper pipe joints, is an alloy of lead and tin. Soft solder has been banned for many uses in the United States, as has lead paint, but many older homes and buildings still contain these materials.

SOLUTION: Don’t wait for a problem to occur – test for lead before you begin a project. If lead is found, employees should be provided with protective clothing and, where necessary, with respiratory protection.

Asbestos

osha asbestos lawOSHA has regulations to protect workers from the hazards of asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that is frequently found in private and commercial homes and properties, as well as many building materials. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, it can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma.

OSHA standards cover work in the general industry such as exposure during maintenance or plumbing work. Standards for the construction industry include construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or renovation and demolition of structures containing asbestos.

OSHA also states that testing of workplaces covered by the standards must be completed to determine if asbestos is present and if the work will generate airborne fibers by a specific method under each standard. In that case, asbestos monitoring and personal protective equipment may be necessary.

SOLUTION: Your best course of action is to test for asbestos to know if workers will be disturbing the toxic material before a project begins. This way, employers can take necessary steps to protect their workers from any asbestos hazards.

Personal Protective Equipment

OSHA PPE ruleAccording to OSHA, personal protective equipment, or PPE, is designed to protect workers from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, and other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety glasses, hard hats, and safety shoes, protective equipment includes a variety of devices and garments such as goggles, coveralls, gloves, vests, and respirators. OSHA says that an employer is required to provide PPE, including respirators, when hazards are present. Employers are required to assess their workplace to determine if hazards are present that require the use of personal protective equipment.

Penalties & Fines

OSHA finesIf you are cited for an OSHA violation, the fines are steep; they start at $13,653 for a one-time violation, $13,653 per day following a failure to abate, and $136,532 for willful or repeated violations.

Advice for Homeowners

The simplest way to avoid lawsuits, penalties, and irreparable harm to workers is to test for hazardous materials prior to starting a job. Be sure to ask the company you hire about lead and asbestos testing, especially if it was built before 1980, as older homes tend to harbor these toxins. If lead or asbestos is present, make sure they are following the EPA regulations for working with these materials.

To schedule an inspection, call RTK at 800.392.6468 or click here. To contact OSHA, visit www.osha.gov, or call 1-800-321-OSHA.

 

Categories
Indoor Air Quality & Radon

Radon: The Silent Killer

Radon: The Silent Killer

Most of us have heard of radon, and if we have bought or sold a house recently, the terms of the sale probably depended on a radon test. But that does not mean we have any idea of what radon is or the harm it can cause. As January is National Radon Action Month, we wanted to share as much as we could about the silent killer.

What is Radon?

Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas produced when uranium naturally decays in soil and water. The Environmental Protection Agency confirms that radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. The EPA estimates that more than six million homes in the United States have a radon problem, and the toxic gas claims the lives of more than 21,000 Americans annually.

In fact, radon caused more American fatalities in 2018 than drunk driving, carbon monoxide poisoning, house fires and choking combined.

Both the EPA and the Surgeon General urge every homeowner to test their homes at least every two years for radon. Radon testing should be part of a thorough indoor air quality test. Paints, solvents, cleansers, disinfectants, air fresheners, pesticides, nicotine, glue, home furnishings and building materials — the list of chemicals in our homes goes on and on – poisons the air we breathe. Even low concentrations of these chemicals can irritate your eyes, nose and throat; cause headaches, loss of coordination and nausea; and can damage the liver, kidneys and the central nervous system.

Indoor air quality tests should check for radon, mold, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particles from furnaces and wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, and common allergens.

To schedule a test, call RTK Environmental Group at 800.392.6468, or click here.