News Analysis

Pushing Weatherization, Feds Look the Other Way on Radon

Radon causes an estimated 20,000 deaths in the U.S. per year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), making it the second most deadly cause of lung cancer after smoking. Most people are exposed to radon in their own homes—homes that are increasingly being tightened up through federal and state weatherization programs and other green building efforts.

Unfortunately, despite mantras like “build tight; ventilate right,” the issue of indoor air quality is still not given equal status with energy efficiency, and some of the consequences can compromise our health. There appear to be links between radon levels and weatherization—but sadly, those in a position to help us better understand those links are not sharing their research with the public.

Published March 3, 2014