What is radon?
Uranium, a radioactive element, is found in rock, soil, water and animals. When uranium decays it forms a radioactive gas called radon. Once produced, radon moves through the ground and into the air. Radon can be detected both indoors and outdoors, but it is of most concerning to air quality indoors.
What are the dangers of radon?
Being exposed to high levels of radon can have implications to one’s health. Studies show that when inhaled, radon can cause lung cancer. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, next to smoking. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General recommend that all homes be tested below the third floor. It is estimated that nearly one in every 15 homes has a level of radon to be concerned about.
How is radon detected?
Radon levels in homes are measured by picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The average American home has a concentration of about 1.3 pCi/L of Radon. The EPA recommends taking action if your home has a concentration of 4pCi/L of Radon or more, but also expresses concern for homes that test between 2-4 pCi/L. Testing for radon can be done inexpensively at home with a “do-it-yourself” radon test kit. These kits can be purchased at many hardware stores, retail outlets or online. You may also choose to hire a qualified radon service professional to test your home. A list of qualified testers can by contacting one of the national radon programs listed below.
How is radon “fixed”?
If your home tests positive for high levels of radon there are measures that can be taken to “fix” your home. Lowering radon levels in the home takes both knowledge and skill and should be done with care. To find out more information on radon mitigation and testing please contact one of the following resources.
National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP)
Phone: (800) 269-4174
National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
Phone: (866) 329-3474