The Daily Wrestling Match: Tips for Surviving the Presence of Radon in Your Home

Play house Innate Boy Qualities


Every night there is a migration of sorts that takes place in our home. Every night the Darling Boys start out each in his own bed, but by morning light there are two little boys sleeping in bed with me and DH. I don't mind them sleeping in our bed. This means I get a few more zzz in the morning. What I do mind is the early morning wrestling match that takes place every morning in my bed with me in the middle. I get pummeled, pinched, bumped, bruised, whacked and smacked, all the while the Darling Boys are laughing uproariously at each other, oblivious to my inconvenient position.


I am not a morning person to begin with, and I don't care to be awoken in this fashion. I am a girl. I don't wrestle. Some girls might, and that's fine, but I don't. I did not teach them to wrestle, and neither did DH, as far as I am aware. They just do, just like DH and his brothers do (even still). This behavior is innate. They are boys. I thought the statement "boys will be boys" to be cliché, stereotypical, an excuse before I had two such species, but now I see that the aggressive, physical, active traits of boys are innate. I don't mean to say that girls do not have these traits or that all boys are exactly like mine, but for the most part I think that boys have these inherent characteristics. For example, we did not teach our Darling Boys the fine art of swashbuckling, yet they are working on perfecting it with anything that is long and stick-like. For that matter, we did not introduce our Darling Boys to swords or guns, but that does not stop them from noticing a ray gun or light saber in a book or a water gun or sword at the store or making a ray gun out of blocks or using a drum stick as a sword.


While I do not appreciate nor advocate for physical violence or even play fighting, I can't get rid of it entirely. I believe it's an inherent male urge that goes back to the hunters and gatherers. What I can do is shape and mold this urge into positive energy. I can talk to them about why fighting and the use of weapons, whether real or play, is not a positive response to any issue. I can help them tone down the aggressive behavior and turn it into a strength, rather than a weakness.


Tips for Getting the Uninvited Guest to Leave


It's the same with radon. If radon is present in the ground where your house is built, you can't get rid of it per se, but you can take steps to prevent it from entering your home. Radon, found in soil and rocks is high in Uranium, seeps into your home through cracks in the foundation, drains, etc. Certain parts of the country typically have higher levels of radon than other parts. To view the EPA map of radon zones click here. The EPA recommends that you get your home checked no matter where your home is located because dangerous levels of radon can build up even in Level 2 and Level 3 areas, not just Level 1 counties.


You can get a test kit and do it yourself or you can hire a certified radon professional to conduct the test. Various testing methods are used depending on individual needs and time constraints. Testing can be passive (using charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, etc.) or active (continuous radon monitors). Passive testing materials are inexpensive and readily available at hardware and building supply stores. Active testing is generally only performed by radon professionals and more expensive than passive methods, but may be more reliable. Short-term testing lasts from 2 to 90 days. Long-term testing lasts greater than 90days. Every radon test should last a minimum of 48 hours. Click here for more information about contacting your state radon contact and how to find a certified radon professional and/or radon testing kits.


There are several methods a contractor can use to lower radon levels in your home. Some techniques prevent radon from entering your home while others reduce radon levels after it has entered. EPA generally recommends methods which prevent the entry of radon. Soil suction, for example, prevents radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the home and venting it through a pipe, or pipes, to the air above the home where it is quickly diluted. There are other radon remediation options. The professional will evaluate the best method to employee depending upon the construction of your home. The cost generally ranges from $800 to $2500.


Informative Website


The EPA site on radon is a great place to start in your quest to learn more about radon. It has a tremendous amount of information whether you are the homeowner, buyer, seller, builder or contractor; whether you are looking for a test kit or a professional tester; whether you already know you need radon remediation or you are just getting started trying to figure out what radon is and why it's a concern. Check out their site:


The Scoop


The funny thing is that the topic of radon was brought to my attention by a friend who was moving to Colorado and was concerned for her family's health because the house they were buying had level of 4 pCi/L or higher, yet if you look at the map of areas with high radon levels, the Twin Cities area is a Level 1 too. So, the odds are that many homes in the Twin Cities area also have radon seeping in at concerning levels, but neither I nor any of our friends had heard of this being an issue before the Colorado house dilemma. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Clearly, it is an issue to be dealt with now. Don't ignore it just because you can't see it, smell it, taste it or feel its presence. On Friday, I will post a bit of Motherly Advice; the Father's Day Edition. Over and out….