radon and carbon monoxideIt doesn’t matter if you own your own home or rent, there are some things that may affect our lives that cross that ‘homeowner’ barrier. Two of those things can be serious health hazards, so we believe everyone should be aware of them: Radon and Carbon Monoxide.

Actually, most people have probably heard far more about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning than they have about radon. (This unfortunate death from carbon monoxide poisoning that occurred last December in Las Vegas springs to mind.) But they both pose risks to occupants, which is why officials recommend testing your residence for both.

Carbon Monoxide

In the case of carbon monoxide, the simplest solution can be found by purchasing detectors that are easily plugged into outlets in your home and will set off an alarm when raised levels are detected. They work a lot like the fire alarms on your ceilings – and in fact, many fire alarms may also include carbon monoxide detectors. This website from Kidde – a leading manufacturer of such alarm systems – offers a lot of helpful information about why, where, and how to use these detectors.

A few important things to know:

• According to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America.
• Even if you use your appliances and vehicles properly, malfunctions can occur. And you may also be exposed to such issues from the homes of neighbors who live above or below you.
• Low-level, long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can cause a variety of health issues that may not be recognized as caused from this source, including headaches, dizziness, and nausea, among others.


Radon, on the other hand, is a different story. While there is a commonality between the two – in that they are invisible, odorless, and tasteless – the Surgeon General states that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally occurring from the ground, and it can easily be accumulated inside the home. As radon decays, it emits particles that can cause lung cancer. And while it has become a common item for testing inside homes on the East Coast, it’s important to know that it is found throughout the entire country. In fact, it is becoming more common to request a radon test as a condition of purchasing a home in Las Vegas.

Here in Clark County, it is estimated that 8-9% of homes harbor radon exposure – which is one of the reasons that the State of Nevada is attempting to educate the public about this potential danger. The Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program recently sent representatives to various Las Vegas libraries to speak on this issue, and offer residents radon testing kits (both short-term and long-term testing) through their offices.

The designated “action level” for radon exposure is 4 picocurie (pCi) – which in itself, offers a surprising statistic:

“A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure)” –radon.com

Over 500 homes in throughout Nevada have tested above 4 pCi/L, with the highest level found in Clark County to be 66 – more than 15 times the action level. Testing becomes all the more important as two homes next to each other can have far differing levels of radon exposure – meaning that this isn’t one of those things you can simply tell yourself – “Hey, my neighbors don’t have it, so my home is fine.”

Testing matters. And if radon is found in your residence, a mitigation process should immediately be undertaken.

Worth noting:

• There are no “safe” levels of radon gas exposure.
• The alpha radiation emitted by radon is the same alpha radiation emitted by other alpha generating radiation sources such as plutonium.
• According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 22,000 U.S. residents die annually from lung cancer brought on by radon.

The bottom line we’d like to share this information, that in the case of both of these potential ‘silent killers’, it is far better to err on the side of caution. Take the necessary steps referenced above to keep yourself and your family safe and reduce the chances of exposure to either carbon monoxide or radon exposure in your home.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit www.newhomeresource.com. Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!