In time for Radon Awareness Week, a Lansing homeowner sounds the alarm

“Radon is a gas that can build up in homes and buildings putting people at risk,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and “anyone can get lung cancer from breathing in high levels of radon over time, whether or not you smoke .” Radon Awareness Week is January 23rd-27th, and a Lansing homeowner and business owner wants community members to learn from her recent discovery of high radon levels in her home.

Alina Kim, who owns K-HOUSE Karaoke Lounge & Suites in the Village of Lansing and a house in the Town of Lansing, says she discovered a high level of radon, an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas, after a water leak led to the discovery that a vent pipe in the wall behind her stove that should have been securely vented to the outside was instead open to the interior of the house’s walls.

In communications reviewed by 14850 Magazine, builder Collegeview Homes LLC told Kim that they could not possibly have gotten a certificate of occupancy for the house they were building without inspections by the Town of Lansing code officer and by Bolton Point Water System, the water and sewer provider for the region.

Collegeview told her that they were not responsible for fixing the issue, and any dispute was between her and the seller she purchased it from. (She is the first resident of the house.) In a communication to Kim from Collegeview, a person identifying herself only as Melissa said she had taken over the company, that the company is closed for the winter months with no office, and that the published address for the company, on Seven Mile Drive in the Town of Ithaca, is in fact the private residence of company founder Paul Jacobs, and not the company’s location.

Bolton Point general manager Steve Riddle tells 14850 Today, “The Bolton Point Water System does not perform Radon system plan review or installation inspections.” He did not respond to a follow-up question about how Bolton Point is involved in plumbing or ventilation inspection.

Town of Lansing officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Collegeview Homes LLC did not respond to a request for comment.

Kim, who says she and her son have been exposed to very high levels of radon in the house, has scheduled a CT scan to make sure her lungs have not yet been affected. Tompkins County Whole Health public health engineer Scott Freyburger advised her to “call our Health Neighborhoods Program (HNP) and get a free radon test. We are of the opinion that homeowners shouldn’t purchase those digital meters and that instead you should use a radon test kit that is placed in a room or space for ~72 hours then sent by the mail to an ELAP certified laboratory. These test kits are more accurate.”

“If you truly do have levels of radon that are above 20 pCi/l,” he told her, “I recommend that you contact New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection at (518) 402-7093, for further technical advice and assistance.”

Kim showed 14850 Today a radon detector showing a long term average of 24.40 pCi/l and a short term average of 32.32 pCi/l.

Read more: CDC Radon Awareness information

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