Upstate homeowner warns of silent danger in homes, urges people - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate homeowner warns of silent danger in homes, urges people to test for radon

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Upstate radon testers display different types of home and professional radon testing kits (FOX Carolina: 3/9/18). Upstate radon testers display different types of home and professional radon testing kits (FOX Carolina: 3/9/18).
TAYLORS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

She doesn't know how long it's been lurking in her Taylors home but 9 years ago, Kathy Culclasure learned radon was present at levels in the teens.

"I was really shocked and my family still lived here and I wanted to make sure that I could continue to protect my family," said Culclasure.

Upstate radon tester Ralph Quin, the owner of Quin Company, said the gas, which is also the second leading cause of lung cancer, shouldn't hit a level higher than four in your home.

"It is something to be concerned about, lung cancer is a real concern. Anywhere in the Upstate would be an area I recommend testing and if it's elevated, mitigate," said Quin. 

Quin helped Culclasure with that process by putting a mitigation system in her basement that runs up through her home.

"I feel like the system is doing it's job," said Culclasure.

She still tests yearly for the gas in her home but Tim Pittman, the owner of Construction Optimization, said not everyone in the Upstate is as diligent.

"The state of South Carolina is a totally unregulated radon state... There are no laws concerning radon in South Carolina," said Pittman.

A map from the Environmental Protection Agency showed that Greenville County was marked a Zone 1 radon county, the only one in the state. Pittman said that means there are high levels of radon in the area.

"Our granite bedrock in our area has trace amounts of radium in it and that's what is emanating our radon," said Pittman.

If people opt to test on their own, Quin recommended buying three home kits. He said to open one and send it right in to the lab to see if it's been contaminated. 

"If it came back elevated, you know that in shipping process or storage before you got the test it was contaminated," said Quin.

Then, he said, take the other two and place them side by side in your home. 

"The two they should have very similar results," said Quin.

Whether people do it themselves or call in a professional, Culclasure said it's important to know if your family is at risk.

"It is an odorless gas and that's kind of the scary part about it is that you don't even know about this gas in your home," said Culclasure.

Quin recommended people test at a minimum every 2-5 years. He said if levels are low you can wait longer but the closer they are to four the more frequently you should test.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was sending out tests to residents who requested them for free. However, they released this statement to FOX Carolina Thursday:

DHEC has received nearly four thousand requests for radon test kits in the last 24 hours and is unable to support any additional requests.  The Department will be glad to support future requests once our supplies are replenished.  Those who are interested in purchasing a radon test kit can contact the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-767-7236.

If you'd like to reach out to a nationally certified mitigation specialist, you can click here to see the list directly from DHEC.

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