Toxic Talk was the title of the Salem Association of Realtor’s Educational Event yesterday.
I wanted to give everyone a quick review of the information that I learned:
Radon: It will kill you. Any home might have an issue. It comes out of the ground and even with a well ventilated crawlspace your home can concentrate this poisonous, radioactive gas.
Moral: Get your home tested
Arsenic in Water: It will kill you. Wells will be required to be tested for it during a real estate transaction. If you have it and install a filter CHANGE YOUR FILTER carefully and regularly.
Moral: Get your water tested
Disaster Clean-up: It will kill you. (see a pattern developing?) Rodent urine and feces is a toxic bio hazard
Moral: Hopefully you won’t have to call these guys EVER!
Lead: It will kill you. (yup, believe it or not) Soon Oregon is going to have some changes that require certifications of ANYONE dealing with repairs of older homes and mandatory lead testing of all of these homes!
Moral: Whether you like it or not your home will be tested…..
Mold: (everyone now!) It will kill you. Mold is EVERYWHERE and it is not necessarily the issue but an indicator of moisture conditions that are a problem
Moral: Get your home tested.
Crawlspace/basement leakage: This will probably kill you too but I think the moisture just causes stuff that will kill you…. Crawlspaces and basements are swimming pools and although there are ways to minimize the water intrusion, they are not required by code.
Jim Allhiser President/Inspector
“Always on the cutting edge”
Radon can make you very sick and has been linked to more cases of lung cancer than tobacco. Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced when uranium degrades. Uranium has a tendency to geologically ‘hang,’ with granite. This is significant due to the fact that the geology of granite and other minerals can be mapped.
The EPA has a fantastic resource for general knowledge on all kinds of different environmental issues. They have a radon exposure map that is based on a geologic map of the United States. Basically it categorizes areas of the US depending on what type of rock is found in that area.
Unfortunately this map is only a good guess. It cannot tell your home or any other home has a radon issue. The only way to determine if your home has a radon issue is to (shameless plug) get it tested. If you live in Salem, Oregon I just happen to know of a fantastic home inspector that can help….