Although much effort has been put into raising national awareness about the dangers of radon and its effects on our health, there are still many homes that are not being tested. Radon is considered to be a health hazard due to its radioactivity.
“About 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.”
Learn more about the odorless and tasteless gas that is found in most soil that could be leaking into your home through cracks and gaps around your foundation.
Radon: The Silent Killer
Radon is a cancer-causing, colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas. Radon can be found all over the U.S. and comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water that gets into the air you breathe.
The EPA estimates that 1 out of 15 U.S. homes are exposed to elevated radon levels, which contributes to the thousands of lung cancer deaths in a year. Radon moves up the soil and into your home through:
- Floor cracks
- Wall cracks
- Water supply and wells
- Foundation joints
- Pipe gaps
Since radon can be found in most soil across the U.S., the only way to know if your home and family are at risk for exposure is by getting your home tested.
How to Test for Radon
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “safe level” for radon exposure in your home. Fortunately, testing for radon is fairly quick and easy.
It’s recommended to have indoor radon levels at less than 4 “picocuries per liter of air,” or “pCi/L.” Radon less than 4Pci/L are still a risk and can be reduced by a proper mitigation process. The risk can be minimized by testing indoor radon levels and by installing a radon reduction system with an effectiveness to reduce radon levels by 99%.
The radon test is about having the passive/active testing devices at the lowest living-level in your home for a specific time period. Some devices promptly send data to a laboratory for analysis.
There are two basic ways to test for radon gas:
- Long-Term Testing
- Short-term Testing
1. Long-Term Testing
The long-term test will take more than 90 days. By opting for a long-term test, you can obtain your home’s year-round indoor radon level. The EPA recommends choosing the long-term test for more deeper understanding of readings in your home.
2. Short-Term Testing
The short-term test takes 2–90 days, depending on the device that you use. There are devices which require only 2–3 days to complete.
Whichever method you choose to test your home, it’s advisable to contact your state radon office to obtain a list of qualified radon testers and contractors providing radon mitigation solutions.
Testing your home for radon and applying proper mitigation systems will better protect your family from health risks associated with radon exposure. For more from the EPA, visit their website for more information on radon gas.
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