WHAT IS RADON GAS?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It comes from the decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and without taste. The presence of radon in a home cannot be detected by human senses. The only way to know if your home or the home you may purchase has elevated radon levels is to have it tested.
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your house has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
WHERE CAN RADON BE FOUND ?
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in the soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building, home, office, and school and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time
HOW DOES RADON ENTER YOUR HOME ?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well sealed and drafty homes, and homes with and without basements.
Nearly 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state. You may contact your state radon office for more general information about radon in your area. While radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may have a problem. The only way to know is to test.
WHY YOU SHOULD TEST FOR RADON ?
Indoors, radon can accumulate in the lower levels of homes where it can adversely affect human health. Radon has been found to cause lung cancer in humans. Outdoors where radon is diluted to low concentrations, radon poses little risk to humans As concentrations of radon increase, there is a greater chance of contracting lung cancer. If you smoke and your home has high radon level, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon can be found all over the U.S. and in any type of building. It is important to test your home, because families are more likely to get the greatest exposure in their homes. It is where most people spend most of their time. The EPA AND THE SURGEON GENERAL recommend testing in all homes below the third floor. If a home has high levels of radon, there are simple and low cost ways to reduce the radon levels.
WHAT CAN BE DONE IF YOUR TEST RESULTS COME BE ELEVATED ?
There are several prove methods to reduce radon in your home, but the one primarily used is a vent pipe system and fan, which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside. This system, known as he soil suction radon reduction system, does not require major changes to your home. Sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this kind of system more effective and cost efficient. Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces. Radon contractors can use other methods that may also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors.
The cost of reducing radon in your home depends on how your home was built an the extent of the radon problem. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost of other common home repairs. The average house costs about $1,500 for a contractor to fix, although this can range for $1,500 to about $2,500.
WHAT METHOD DO WE USE TO TEST FOR RADON ?
We use the Model 1027 Professional Continuous Radon Monitor it is a patented electronic detecting device using a diffused-junction photodiode sensor to measure the concentration of radon gas. In a typical test we leave the monitor in the home to be tested for between 48 and 72 hours.
When we return to retrieve the monitor we simply disconnect the power source to the monitor, bring the monitor back to the our office, connect it to our computer and down load the report. There is no waiting for the results, we will email a copy of the radon results within 24 hours or quicker if needed.
MYTH: Scientists are not sure that radon really is a problem.
FACT: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all the major health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. This is especially true among smokers, since the risk to smokers is much greater than to non-smokers.
MYTH: Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
FACT: Radon testing is easy and inexpensive.
MYTH: Radon testing devices are not reliable and are difficult to find.
FACT: Reliable testing devices are available from qualified radon testers and companies.
MYTH: Homes with radon problems can’t be fixed.
FACT: There are simple solutions to radon problems in homes. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already fixed radon problems in their homes. Radon levels can be readily lowered for $800 to $2,500 (with an average cost of $1,200)..
MYTH: Radon affects only certain kinds of homes.
FACT: House construction can affect radon levels. However, radon can be a problem in homes of all types: old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, and homes without basements. Local geology, construction materials, and how the home was built are among the factors that can affect radon levels in homes.
MYTH: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.
FACT: High radon levels have been found in every state. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.
MYTH: A neighbor’s test result is a good indication of whether your home has a problem.
FACT: It’s not. Radon levels can vary greatly from home to home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test it.
MYTH: It’s difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.
FACT: Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frustrated. The added protection is some times a good selling point.
MYTH: I’ve lived in my home for so long, it doesn’t make sense to take action now.
FACT: You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you’ve lived with a radon problem for a long time.
MYTH: Short-term tests can’t be used for making a decision about whether to fix your home.
FACT: A short-term test, followed by a second short-term test* can be used to decide whether to fix your home. However, the closer the average of your two short-term tests is to 4 pCi/L, the less certain you can be about whether your year-round average is above or below that level. Keep in mind that radon levels below 4 pCi/L still pose some risk. Radon levels can be reduced in most homes to 2 pCi/L or below.