Madison County Developers Were Notified About Radon Risk

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Between 2001-2003, the Alabama Department of Public Health repeatedly sent written notification to the builders and developers of Madison County, AL alerting them that homes to be constructed in their new subdivisions had a high likelihood of radon contamination unless radon-resistant construction measures were implemented.

Between 2001-2003, the Alabama Department of Public Health repeatedly sent written notification to the builders and developers of Madison County, AL alerting them that homes to be constructed in their new subdivisions had a high likelihood of radon contamination unless radon-resistant construction measures were implemented.

According to a review of public records by the American Radon Policy Coalition (ARPC), the Health Department’s Office of Radiation Control sent notices to at least 34 different development and construction companies warning of potential radon contamination in 56 new subdivisions. Some builders were sent up to five separate notices regarding different developments within the county.

The notices state that as many as one in three homes constructed in certain subdivisions have a likelihood of containing dangerous levels of indoor radon gas according to zip code statistics gathered by the Department. Although the county did not require the implementation of radon prevention construction techniques, the Office of Radiation Control encouraged the builders to create a “radon-resistant new construction subdivision” for the safety of the residents. The notices also point out that it is considerably less expensive (less than $500) to incorporate prevention measures during construction than it is to install a radon mitigation of an existing home ($1500-$2500).

Recently revised risk assessments from the U.S. EPA estimate 21,000 Americans die of radon-induced lung cancer annually, 50% higher than their 1994 estimate. Because radon is a known human carcinogen and homes with dangerous levels can be found almost anywhere, the EPA recommends all homebuyers test for radon prior to purchase.

Alabama has 15 counties that have been identified as having high potential for excessive indoor radon. Madison and Colbert are two counties where elevated indoor radon occurs most frequently.

“Unfortunately,” says David Hill, President of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, “in order to prevent a perceived hurdle to closing the deal, many real estate agents and homebuilders fail to disclose the EPA recommendation to test for radon”

“The truth is radon mitigation systems are easily and inexpensively installed and not only prevent radon from entering the home, but prevent the entry of moist soil air that may contribute to musty odors and the growth of mold.” says Dallas Jones, ARPC Chairman.

According to the Department, a few builders in Madsison County are now voluntarily installing radon-resistant construction features in their homes, but point out the houses still need to be tested to determine their effectiveness.

Below is a list of subdivisions whose developers were notified prior to July 12, 2003 that the subdivsion was in an area of high potential for a radon problem. Residents of these subdivisions should test their homes and may need to contact their builders to determine if any measures were ever taken to prevent their exposure to dangerous levels of radon. (A Department spokesperson indicated more recent notices would be available upon request.)

When contacted, a representative of the Madison County Extension Service said they are selling do-it-yourself radon test kits for only $5. To order call(256) 532-1578. Home purchasers are encouraged by the EPA to hire the services of a professional who is certified to perform radon testing by the National Environmental Health Association or the National Radon Safety Board.

Subdivision                Zip Code

Bridges on the River         35811

Town of Cambridge          35756

Edenshire                  35811

Village of Providence          35806

Shadow Brook                  35749

Potter’s Hill                  35758

Magnolia Springs          35749

Rolling Meadows          35756

Charleston Square          35757

Fieldstone                  35749

Bridgefield                  35758

Stanley Estates          35816

Overland Trace                  35806

Heritage Province         35756

Twickenham Heights          35801

Tanner Ridge                  35761

Colinwood Estates         35758

St. Charles Place          35758

Shadow Creek                  35756

Colinwood                  35758

Creekwood                  35758

Berry Hill Estates         35811

Liberty Square                  35758

Saddleback Ridge          35758

Stone Hill Estates         35811

Quarter Mountain Estates     35758

Indian Creek                  35806

Taylor’s Crossing         35756

Jaquelynn Downs          35758

Overlook Trace                  35803

Eagle’s Ridge Estates         35802

Tiffany Pointe                  35811

Mt Carmel by the River         35811

Clift’s Cove                 35758

Heritage Plantation         35758

Heritage Provence            35758

Heritage Station             35758

Morovia Meadows Estates         35759

Chase Shadow                  35759

Hidden Lake          35759 35763

River Walk                  35761

Darylewood Estates          35811

Lexington                  35758

Greenlawn Plantation         35759

Georgetown Square          35758

Buckingham                  35758

Buckhead Run                  35811

Cedar Springs Station         35758

Chapman Cove                  35811

Walden                          35758

Flint River Downs         35761

Forest Pointe                 35758

Jacobs Cove                 35806

Greystone                 35806

Ashley Green                 35758

Deer Creek in HNM            35761

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