Letter: Radon danger is real in Clark County



I commend the publication of the Jan. 16 story “Vancouver man raises awareness of radon.” Radon gas — naturally produced in soil with a high uranium content, and commonly found beneath Clark County homes — is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., surpassed only by smoking.

There has been a long-standing perception in our county that radon is “a Portland problem,” given years of media attention focused on areas such as Alameda Ridge. The reality? More than 20 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency categorized Clark County as “Zone 1,” the highest potential for unhealthy household radon levels. This categorization is higher than any county in Oregon. All homes, whether old or new, with a basement, crawl space or neither, are susceptible to radon.

As a professional in the industry, I encourage all homeowners to consider testing their houses — do-it-yourself test kits cost as little as $10. As John Koroloff, a retired environmental science professor, concluded in the story, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Jim Bittner