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May 18, 2012

Radon returns

Radon testerWhen I saw the squat box with its old-school knobs and switches it took me back to the early 90s when I was Communications Director for the Housing Resource Center (HRC), a non-profit I helped to create. Seems like another lifetime.

The box is a femto-TECH radon monitor, currently doing its thing in the house that my daughter and son-in-law are purchasing in Hudson, Ohio.

Radon, in case you've forgotten, is a colorless, odorless gas that is present to varying degrees in the air inside houses. At a certain threshold it becomes a health hazard, hence the need for testing.

Indoor pollution

Newspaper article about Healthy House CatalogThe device itself looks pretty much like it did in 1990 when we listed it in the Healthy House Catalog: National Directory of Indoor Pollution Resources, another project from my 1981-93 years as the HRC expert in indoor pollution problems.

Seems like so long ago that I was shocked to find the catalog still available from Amazon.com and listed in the Francis Loeb Library at Harvard University.

For better or worse, the HRC ran out of funding just before its 10th anniversary in 1993. Most significantly, this was before the World Wide Web really took off. A few years later we'd have moved most of our services to the Web and I think the HRC would be thriving today.

If that had happened I might not have gone to grad school in Visual Communication Design and never gotten into a full time teaching gig, so I'm not complaining.

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