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5 Facts Every Homeowner Should Know About Radon

By Admin July 20, 2023

Knowing the facts about radon and its potential risks to your health is an important part of being a responsible homeowner. Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless gas that can build up in homes and other buildings if the ventilation isn’t adequate or if there are cracks or openings in walls or floors. Considering it is one of the leading causes of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers and one of the top cancer-causing agents in many countries worldwide, understanding how to identify signs of this radioactive gas can help you protect yourself and your family from this silent killer. Read on to discover five key facts every homeowner should know about radon!

What is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally occurs in the environment due to the decay of uranium and thorium present in rocks and soil. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it difficult to detect without specialized equipment. Radon is classified as a Group 1 human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) due to its potential to develop lung cancer.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer globally. It can enter buildings through cracks and gaps in the foundation, walls, and floors. It can accumulate to high levels indoors, presenting a significant health risk to occupants.

The concentration of radon in indoor air is measured in Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3), and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a reference level of 100 Bq/m3. However, several countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, have set lower action levels.

Radon can be mitigated through various methods, including sealing cracks and gaps, installing ventilation systems, and utilizing radon-resistant construction materials. It is important to test for radon in buildings regularly, especially in areas with high geological potential for radon, to prevent lung cancer deaths.

Radon is a carcinogenic gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It is important to take measures to mitigate radon levels in indoor environments to ensure the health and safety of occupants. Regular testing and implementing mitigation techniques can reduce the risk of lung cancer caused by radon exposure.

Where Does Radon Come From?

Radon is formed from the natural decay of uranium and radium, which are present in soil, rocks, and groundwater. Radon can also be found in building materials such as concrete, bricks, and tiles. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which makes it difficult to detect without a specialized detection system.

In outdoor air, radon typically dissipates harmlessly into the atmosphere. However, in enclosed spaces like houses and buildings, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels. This is because radon gas seeps through cracks and gaps in the foundation and walls of buildings. Radon levels are typically higher in basements and crawl spaces, as these areas are closer to the soil.

Radon is behind only cigarette smoking, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The risk of developing lung cancer from radon exposure is greater for smokers, as smoking can damage the lungs and make them more susceptible to the harmful effects of radon. Smokers develop the symptoms of lung cancer earlier than non-smokers.

There are several ways to test for radon in your home, including professional radon gas testing. If high levels of radon are detected, there are radon reduction measures that can be taken. These measures typically involve sealing cracks in the foundation and walls and installing a ventilation system to circulate air and expel radon gas. Hire a certified inspector for radon testing in Nashville to know about the radon levels in your home.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Radon?

Radon symptoms are not usually noticeable, making them difficult to detect without proper testing. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of radon exposure.

Firstly, individuals exposed to high radon levels can develop chronic coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can become increasingly severe as the radon exposure continues. 

Secondly, radon inhalation can cause chest pain and fatigue, decreasing overall physical performance. Thirdly, prolonged radon exposure can increase the risk of developing lung cancer, especially among smokers.

Furthermore, it is important to note that radon does not only enter homes through openings in the foundation or walls. It can also invade the water supply, making it critical to test water that is derived from the well.

Radon exposure is a serious health risk that should not be taken lightly. The only way to fully understand the level of radon in a home or water supply is through proper testing by a professional. Protecting oneself from this silent killer requires understanding the symptoms of radon exposure and taking steps to reduce exposure levels.

Facts that Every Homeowner Should Know About Radon are:

Radon Available in Every State

Radon gas is a silent killer that can be found in every US state. The radon concentration level varies across different US states, with some states having higher levels than others.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly one in 15 homes in the US has radon levels that exceed the recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). More than half of the homes in some states have radon levels exceeding this. States like Iowa, North Dakota, and Montana have the highest concentration of radon gas, with more than 40% of homes having radon levels above the recommended action level.

On the other hand, states like Hawaii and Alaska have lower levels of radon gas, with less than 1% of homes exceeding the recommended action level. However, it is important to note that even homes in low radon concentration areas can have high radon levels. Therefore, it is recommended that all homes undergo radon testing to determine the radon concentration level present.

Homeowners should ensure that their homes are safe and free from radon contamination. It is essential to take precautions because human senses cannot detect radon gas, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Every home should be tested for radon gas, regardless of the state they are located in. Homeowners should also consider testing their homes every few years, as radon levels fluctuate. By being proactive, homeowners can ensure that their homes are safe and healthy for their families.

Radon Exposure Levels Vary from Home to Home

The concentration levels of radon gas can vary from home to home, making it difficult to predict if your home is safe from the harmful effects of this gas. 

Radon levels vary depending on the type of soil, the home’s construction, and the level of ventilation. Typically, a home’s radon level is higher during winter when windows are closed, and the air can’t circulate as much. The highest radon levels are found in basements and crawl spaces, although it’s still possible to have high radon levels on the upper floors.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some states have higher average radon levels than others. For instance, in Iowa, nearly 70% of homes tested for radon had levels above the recommended level of 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). Other states with high radon concentrations include North Dakota, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania. 

It’s essential to remember that regardless of where you live, your home could have high radon levels, which can cause lung cancer. The only way to know your home’s radon levels is to test for it, as radon is a gas that is impossible to see, smell, or taste.

Every home should be tested for radon levels by a certified radon inspector. It’s the best way to keep your family safe from the harmful effects of radon gas, like lung cancer.

Radon Testing is Easy 

Radon testing is essential in every home, especially if you value your health and that of your family. The Radon testing process involves testing the levels of Radon gas in your home using a Radon detector. Depending on your preferences, this detector can either be a short-term Radon detector or a long-term one.

The process is usually straightforward and easy if you decide to call in a certified Radon inspector. First, the inspector must visit your home to examine the most suitable location for the Radon detector. This area usually experiences significant traffic and is within the living quarters.

Once the inspector locates the right place to put the detector, they will start installing the device, which takes approximately one hour. The short-term detector can take a few days to give you results, while the long-term detector will take some extra days.

After the test period is over, the inspector will collect the detector and send it to a lab for analysis and the presence of radioactive particles. Once the lab results come, the inspector will share the results with you. If the test results show that the home has high levels of Radon gas, you will need to take appropriate measures to lower the levels.

Hiring a Radon inspector and testing for Radon gas levels in your home is a simple process that can help save your life and those of your loved ones. If necessary, ensure that you hire a certified Radon inspector to guarantee accurate results and proper mitigation measures.

Radon Gas Testing is Affordable

Radon testing is a crucial step that every homeowner should take to ensure the safety of their family and protect their property from the harmful effects of this radioactive gas. Many people believe that radon gas testing is an expensive process that requires specialized equipment and expertise, but the truth is that it is an affordable procedure that a qualified radon inspector can do.

Radon testing typically costs between $150 and $300, depending on the location, type of test, and property size. This may seem like a significant investment, but compared to the cost of treating lung cancer or the damage caused by radon exposure to your home, it is a small price to pay. Additionally, some states offer programs that provide free or discounted testing kits to homeowners.

It is also important to note that radon testing is a one-time investment that can last for years. Generally, radon tests are recommended every two years for homeowners who have previously tested below the EPA’s action level and every year for those who have tested above it.

Investing in radon testing may save you thousands of dollars and, more importantly, protect the health and well-being of your loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact a qualified radon inspector today to book your testing appointment.

Higher Radon Levels in Home Can be Reduced

Fortunately, there are measures that homeowners can take to reduce the levels of radon in their homes.

Radon testing is the first step that homeowners can take to determine their home’s radon levels. Homeowners can hire a professional radon testing service to do the job. Once high radon levels have been detected, the next step is implementing radon mitigation measures.

The most effective radon mitigation system is sub-slab-depressurization. It involves creating a vacuum under the basement floor, drawing the radon gas away from the living space, and venting it outside where it can safely dissipate. Additionally, sealing all cracks and openings where radon can enter the home can significantly reduce its concentration.

Homeowners should not take the threat of high radon levels lightly. Testing for radon and implementing radon mitigation measures can significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer and protect the health of a homeowner and their family.

Conclusion

Having your home tested for radon gas is essential; these five key facts will help you do so with the right knowledge and expectations. Not every home has high levels of this naturally-occurring gas, but it can be extremely damaging if unattended. Radon testing should always happen in a specialized laboratory and be done as frequently as recommended by your local laws. Homeowners should also be aware that they may need to invest in specialized radon mitigation techniques if elevated levels are detected. Ultimately, taking the time to learn about radon gas and having your home tested is invaluable for the safety of your family and friends.

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