3 Oct

MetroBoston Publication Date October 3, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

 Last week I wrote about the dangers of radon in one’s home even at the so-called federal safety level. With 7 out of a thousand nonsmokers and 62 out of a thousand smokers predicted to get lung cancer at the federal safety level, it hardly seems like a safe level at all.

 Radon is not just limited to the air in one’s home. It’s in drinking water. While city or town water is treated and likely to disperse any radon within it, if you have well-water then you may have a serious problem.

 Radon in one’s water supply can cause stomach cancer when ingested if levels of radon are sufficiently high. Similarly, radon gas that is dispersed when one washes dishes or showers can cause lung cancer.

 Safety levels in water are measured differently than in air. That’s what confusing. Not all the states are consistent in what they view as a safe level or problem dose. Massachusetts believes that a level of 10,000 pCi/L is safe in water. New Hampshire believes that only 2,000 pCi/L is safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency thinks 300 pCi/L (yes, that’s right, 300) is the safe level.

 So if you have radon in your water supply, take action, and don’t necessary rely on what the government thinks is safe. © 2012 George Warshaw.

George Warshaw is a real estate attorney and author. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts, and estate plans. George welcomes new clients and questions at metro@warshawlaw.com.


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