Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Radon can be found both in water and in the air. When radon is present at high levels, it can lead to serious health issues, such as lung cancer.
Radon can get into your home in a variety of different ways. It can seep in from the soil under your property. It can also pass through any cracks in your foundations and walls as well as through drains, pipes and sump pumps. If you get your water supply from a well, it may also be filled with radon.
If your home is in an area with low radon levels, you are not necessarily safe. Even if your home is classified as “low risk,” it is still possible to have high radon levels. Around 15% of homes in the U.S. have higher radon levels than the EPA’s tolerable level.
Because radon is a gas, it can pass through small cracks and openings that you might not be able to see with the naked eye. Radon can get into both finished and unfinished basements and old homes as well as new ones. It is impossible to tell if you have high levels of radon unless you do a formal radon test.
While some new homes are equipped with a Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC), you still may not be safe from radon exposure. Without a formal radon test, it is impossible to know if you are at risk from radon or not. Radon Resistant New Construction means that your home is made with radon system pipes, but not the radon system fan. This means your space is ready for a radon system but is not radon resistant.
Since radon is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, it is both hard to detect in your environment and difficult to tell if it is harming your health. There are no outright symptoms of radon poisoning. Radon can cause lung cancer, which is often asymptomatic until it has progressed into its late stages.
As with many medical conditions, it can be hard to determine an exact cause of lung cancer. The statistics, however, show that there is a compelling relationship between the number of non-smokers developing lung cancer who have a high presence of radon in their homes. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 15,000-22,000 deaths from lung cancers are associated with radon every year.
When you use water for things like bathing, cooking, and drinking, radon can escape your water source and get into the air. Radon is mostly dangerous when inhaled, but is also thought to cause stomach cancer when ingested.
When it comes to radon testing, you can test yourself or hire a professional. The do-it-yourself option takes about 48 hours and is far less accurate than a test administered by a professional. A trained professional will be able to give you a more accurate idea of the amount of radon present in your home and can help better interpret the results of your test.
This question is tricky because there is technically no amount of radon exposure that is considered to be safe. Currently, the EPA recommends that you take action if your level is above 4.0 pCi/L.
There are many different factors that can influence the radon levels in your home. Radon levels are highest during the hot seasons and in the lowest points of your home. The levels can also fluctuate based on weather patterns and test interference. Trusting a professional to conduct your radon test is the best and most accurate way to see the level of radon in your home.
If your radon levels are high, it is important to call us right away. The sooner we can limit the amount of radon that you and your family are being exposed to, the safer you will be.
It is important to be very careful when it comes to radon because it is a radioactive gas. We recommend consulting with professionals before you try to take care of the problem on your own.