Renters claim apartment never told them of radon tests - WSMV Channel 4

Renters claim apartment never told them of radon tests

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Renters in a south Nashville apartment complex said their manager failed to tell them that their apartment had tested for higher than acceptable levels of radon.

The Channel 4 I-Team helped the renters obtain a copy of the testing report, which shows their apartment was tested in July 2011 and again in September of 2011. But the renters said they never knew they were being tested for radon.

"The problem has been that no one has answers for us. You can ask as many questions as you want, but no one has answers," tenant Lauren Miller said.

Miller's roommate, Ashton Sisk, said they knew last year that their apartment at Twin Oaks in Antioch was being tested for something, but they didn't know what.

Sisk said it was in March that they were told they would need to move out of their basement apartment for two weeks for maintenance reasons.

When Sisk and Miller pressed for answers at that point, they said their manager told them that higher than acceptable levels of radon was detected in their apartment.

Sisk asked for a copy of the test reports.

"They (the manager) wouldn't give it to me, or let me make copies of it," Sisk said.

Sisk's grandmother called the Channel 4 I-Team looking for help, and we suggested that Ashton ask to look at the report and take photographs of it with her phone.

Sisk took the photos and shared them with the Channel 4 I-Team.

The report shows the acceptable level of radon is 4.0 picoCuries per liter of air, and the level in Sisk's and Miller's apartment was 7.1.

Sisk and Miller moved in April of 2011.

The report shows the first test that showed the higher than acceptable levels of radon came after a July 2011 test.

An additional, long term test was done in September 2011, and the results came back in January, according the report.

Sisk and Miller said they weren't told they had been tested for radon until this March.

"(We're) mad. That we've been here for this long and we haven't known," Miller said.

In March, the complex installed a radon removal system in their apartment, and the Channel 4 I-Team also found another device like it at an additional apartment.

The new owners with LA Red Oak said they discovered the radon levels in the process of security financing last year.

The owners said the high levels of radon was found in only two apartments in a random sampling.

The Channel 4 I-Team asked why they didn't alert the tenants to the testing and its results earlier?

The new owners said they thought the renters had been told.

"I'm actually surprised they weren't told, because we had to go back and do a 90-day test. so I thought they were communicated with, that this was a radon test, it's going to be here for 90 days, so that's surprising to me," said Bryan Mellinger, co-owner of LA Red Oak, LLC.

The Channel 4 I-Team checked with metro codes, and they don't require apartments to do radon testing or share their test results with tenants.

A toxicologist with the metro health department advised all those who live in apartments in basements or on the first floor of apartments to do radon testing themselves.

"If I was living in an apartment unit and I was living in a basement or first floor, I would probably buy a $5 kit and do the test," said Dr. Sanmi Areola, a metro toxicologist.

Miller and Sisk said they are moving out as soon as they can.

"I know that people don't know to test for it. Especially people that live in apartments," Sisk said.

Mellinger said they have since done an additional test in Sisk's and Miller's apartment since the removal system was put in place, and that test showed no problems with radon.

As for finding a home radon test kit, you can buy them at home improvement stores or you can purchase them at the metro health department.

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