Did you know our club has a "Birthday Machine"?  Several years ago, one of our esteemed members Tom Arthur bought the club a plug-in Radon detector to be shared among our members.  Tom was moved by one of our presentations about Radon and the prevalence of the radioactive gas in many midwestern homes.  Radon increases the risk of lung cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. The original Radon detector needed to be re-calibrated after many years of use, so Steve and Liz Thorpe stepped up to purchase a new and easier-to-use battery-powered detector for our club.  This month during the birthday table recognition, Mason will encourage members to check out the detector to take home and collect some readings, then use that information to buy a chemical test or seek a professional mitigation company. 
Think of it as a machine that helps your family have MORE BIRTHDAYS...it's a birthday machine!
Fellow Rotarian Phil Nash shared this story with the club a few years ago:
When we purchased our house in 2012 we had a functioning radon mitigation system. We tested the radon levels and they were around 3.0 which is acceptable but not great.  We didn’t do anything about it.
Fast forward to this year. Our mitigation system pump went out. I wasn’t confident it was even doing anything, so I decided to get the Rotary birthday machine and test it. It was now reading about 7.5!  we were a little concerned to say the least!
So we called a great Radon mitigation company, they came and checked the entire system, installed a new pump, and the readings are now around 0.6. 
Thank you for purchasing and handing out the radon testing kit, it makes us feel better knowing how effective our system is!
Philip D. Nash
Market President
Principal Business Relationship Manager
The Rotary birthday machine is available for you to take home for two weeks to collect readings that averages over time.  All you need to do is reset the device, place it about 3-4 off the floor, and wait for a day or two as the measurements come in.  There is a short-term reading and a long-term average on the display, the longer you leave it active, the more precise the reading.  The entire state of Iowa is considered high-risk, and the EPA "strongly recommends" action above a reading of 2.0 pCi/L.
Email Mason if you'd like to reserve the Rotary birthday machine for a free way to test for Radon in your home or business!