• Use a state-certified test kit or a trained contractor to determine radon levels within your home and compare them to EPA guidelines.
• Read and use the EPA’s Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction.
• Make necessary corrections in the structure if the radon level exceeds 4 pCi/L.
• Use a certified contractor to make the necessary corrections, if it is beyond your capabilities to do so.
• Properly drain and seal foundations in new construction.
• Use mechanically assisted ventilation as the primary means of reducing levels of radon within a structure.
• Stop all smoking within the home or facility, clean thoroughly, and air out the entire area.
• Treat radon-contaminated well water.
12. Stoves, Heaters, Fireplaces, and Chimneys. Respirable particles and gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide are produced by sources of combustion including stoves, heaters, fireplaces, chimneys, and environmental tobacco smoke. They may cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, respiratory infections, bronchitis, dizziness, headaches, confusion, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, persistent coughs, and lung cancer. (See the section on “Outdoor Air” above)
Best Practices for Stoves, Heaters, Fireplaces, and Chimneys
• Install and use exhaust fans in hoods over gas burners and keep them properly adjusted.
• Ensure that there is a proper supply of air for combustion for all appliances.
• Never use a gas stove to heat the house.
• Make sure the flue is always open on a gas fireplace.
• Use the proper size wood-burning stove certified by the US EPA.
• Inspect at least yearly the central air handling system, furnaces, flues, and chimneys, and make necessary corrections and repairs immediately.
• Frequently check and replace air filters.
13. Volatile organic compounds are released from many substances used indoors including paints, varnishes, waxes, pesticides, cleaning supplies, clothing from the cleaner, air fresheners, glues and adhesives, printers, cosmetics, etc. They are also released from new carpets, new furniture, new walls, new floors, new shelving, etc. VOCs can enter the property from the outside air and also from the ground and water from contamination that surrounds the structure. These compounds are present in the structure at levels which are considerably higher than those found in the outside air. They cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system, and at high enough levels over a period of time may cause unconsciousness and death. (Also see Household Products above)
Best Practices for Volatile Organic Compounds (See endnote 77)