About Radon in the Home
Radon is an invisible gas that is created when radioactive uranium breaks down in the earth. The gas seeps up from underground and makes its way into your home or well water. Radon is a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoking. Because radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, the only way to detect it is with a radon test. Professional testing will reveal if there are unsafe levels of radon gas in your home.
Health Concerns With Radon in the Home
Radon in the outdoors is not highly concentrated. Radon is most dangerous in places where it can collect, like the lower floor of a home. When you breathe the gas over time, the radioactive particles affect lung tissue, causing cancer. If radon levels exceed 4.0 picoCuries/liter, it is recommended that the homeowner take action to mitigate the gas.
The EPA says that 1 in 15 homes has a high level of radon. It does not matter the age of the house is or the neighborhood where it’s located. You can have unsafe levels of radon even though your neighbor does not. Professional radon testing provides accurate information about the amount of radon in your home.
While home test kits are available, they are not as accurate as a test performed by a professional who is trained to read and interpret the results.
If you have high levels of radon in your home, have a mitigation system installed. A company that specializes in mitigation will seal small holes and cracks in the foundation that allow the gas into your home. Some mitigation companies install plastic sheeting to help block access points. A ventilation system is then installed to keep radon levels low. Radon testing should be conducted after the system is in place and again every year to verify that levels remain safe.