Saturday, July 23, 2011

That's Alot a Gas

Radon gas that is...

Not much to this blog except trying to get a stress relief!!  

When we were first looking into getting orders to Guam we read a ton of information about the normal things shopping, things to do, schools, the bases and with that comes housing.  We read many articles about radon on the island as well and how it is being handled so to speak.  

Radon is a gas which is neither smelled, tasted or seen it is a gas from uranium in the ground.  It is all over the world and even in the air we breathe outside but in a confined area such as a home it can be harmful.  Needless to say Guam is a high radon area.  I say this lightly b/c no amount of radon is safe but the EPA says that levels 4.0 and above should be taken seriously and the home should be mitigated ASAP.  

Well when we first got here we knew it was likely to have radon in our home at least in small amounts.  Small amounts wouldn't be harmful in the 3 years we would be here.  The homes on Andersen were mitigated in '92 and were considered "safe".  Anywho, we went to housing and specifically asked about the issue and expressed our concerns over it and the lady told us that "we don't offer homes with high radon levels", we were then handed the keys to our home along with various information including a radon packet!  We read it and after some thought and hearing stories we decided to purchase a good radon detector so that would could check our home ourselves out of curiosity.  

48 hours later we had our first reading... it was 66.7!!  You can do the math but that is like 16 times the "okay" limit.  We did end up getting it down to about 5.7 (it took about 2 weeks and a hot humid home but...) but that was short lived when we did a reading in our bedroom which read 47.6!!  

We called housing after the first reading and were told to call the Environmental Dept at medical so I did so ASAP.  I was told that they would have to do a 3 month test then if it was over 20.0 they had 1 year to fix the issue if it was under 20.0 they had 3 year to fix it... then do another test to see if the issue was resolved.  Well I was suppose to get a call from someone to bring the test and no one has called But I am not to worried about them since they won't solve the issue as quick as we want it resolved!

Well we knew some people and these are there stories....
There was a family who just left a few weeks ago (they were here for 3 years) when they moved here they shipped 2 healthy animals a dog and cat.  The dog was a puppy still and within a few months died of cancer.  
Another person was stationed here a few months ago put in a package for officer and found out he had lung cancer... he never smoked a cigarette a day in his life.  Needless to say he had to leave, did not get picked up for officer b/c he had to pull his package and not sure but possibly had to get out of the navy?!?!

After getting our reading we were extremely concerned b/c we have to healthy dogs and a very healthy son.  Radon can be in drinking water and obviously in the air we breathe... it is also the #1 reason non-smokers get lung cancer... scary to think our little man with his little lungs could have health issue b/c of some stupid home :/

Our neighbors to the back of us did a test on their home and got 2.4 so we are going into housing on Monday to "talk" to them and give them a letter stating we want to be able to test the home that is attached to theirs and move in if the levels are safe.  Hopefully they will work with us and it will be easy b/c if you know me I do not settle for getting the run around especially when my son's health is on the line... I will not sit by and get told a bunch of BS :)

The thought of moving is tiring to me b/c I have done soooo much work in our yard and we have a canopy that would be taken down and moved not to mention digging up all my plants and replanting them and moving our stuff... not fun at ALL!  I say this but I will be thrilled to get in a safe home for our little man who deserves a healthy home :)  I am just really hoping that we can get a safe home right around our current home that way we don't have to go far from the school which is walking distance and his friends which live behind us.   

I am not writing this to scare our family by any means but simply letting everyone know the situation and know that we are taking care of it the best way we can and in a timely manner... I know my mother in law :)  

I will keep you posted... until next time



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