New figures released in January 2013 from Portland State University geology department show Sumner neighborhood’s zip code (97220) at lower overall radon risk than bordering zip codes, but still at elevated levels.
Radon is an odorless & naturally occuring gas that has been linked to lung cancer. Residents who spend extended periods of time in their basement are most at risk. The most common mitigation method is a ‘pipe-and-fan’ setup that blows air from the basement.
NE Portland — especially north of the Alameda Ridge — has long been known as a radon hotspot. The PSU report also highlighted areas of risk around the state.
Caption: The Portland radon risk map by zip code, republished from the Oregonian website.
The following table shows the data, including how many tests were performed, what the highest radon reading was among the data set per zip code, average radon levels, and which percentage of tests were above the level considered safe.
Four picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is considered the safe threshhold. About 30% of tests performed in zip code 97220 reported levels above 4 pCi/L.
Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) had a rep from the Oregon Lung Association scheduled to discuss radon risk last fall, but unfortunately they had to cancel. We hope to reschedule them for our April 2013 meeting.
For more information, see:
- New radon numbers highlight Portland-area health risks, published Jan 23, 2013 at Oregonian website.
- A 2010 post here on SumnerPDX.org about radon risk, citing the best sources at that time.