How Can We Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Punch Bowl Analogy/Theory

The air that folks inhale into their bodies is the air in the breathing zone.. Since most of us spend about 90-95% of our time indoors, testing indoor air quality for health hazards makes good sense. What is in the punch bowl can make a big difference in what happens next.

Most of us are indoors 90%-95% of the time

Once upon a time, not long ago, a couple had lived in a high rise condominium in southwest Florida for six years. The wife was 58 years old. She developed a cough which got worse and worse and finally went to her doctor. The doctor examined her and sent her to a pulmonary specialist. The specialist examined her. He then asked her if she had ever tested  her home for radon. She said no. He then told her the bad news. She had Stage IV lung cancer which required immediate treatment. He  said that in Collier County, about 254 residents become lung cancer patients every year.  She said that she had never heard that there was so much lung cancer in Collier County. The doctor told her that she should test her home for radon. Her response was that she was on the 17th floor, too far from the ground to have radon since radon “comes out of the ground.” The doctor said, “I often see lung cancer patients that live in high rise buildings and when their homes are tested for radon they almost always have high radon levels sometimes 4 to 5 times higher than the — USEPA Radon Action Level and above the Florida “not to exceed level.” 

The wife died 93 days later.despite suffering from extensive medical treatment, which cost over $458,000, most of which was not covered by insurance.

Heartbroken, the husband decided to move back to Pennsylvania to be near their children and grandchildren, and put his home up for sale.

Four months later, while he was still living in the home, he had an offer from a qualified buyer. The buyer hired a home inspector who recommended a radon test. The home inspector warned him that he had tested another unit above his in the same building, with radon above 17 picoCuries per liter, over 4 times the “limit.” The home  inspector tested for radon, and the radon was 13 picoCuries per liter, well above the 4.0 limit. The seller was devastated.