Dangerous radon gas can only be detected by devices called radon detectors. EPA estimates report that nearly one in 15 homes have radon levels higher than the “action limit ” of 4 pCi/L or more. The “action limit ” means that action needs to be taken immediately to avert long-term consequences of exposure.
The EPA also estimates that radon causes an estimated 21,000 deaths a year – which is greater than the number of deaths caused by drunk driving, falls inside the home, drownings, or house fires.
Testing for radon gas is advised for all homeowners. Radon comes from the breakdown of uranium and other substances in the soil. Since radon is found in nearly every area (every state in the U.S. has it), testing is vital.
The only way to know for sure what your radon levels are is to test with home radon detectors.
Did you know that even your neighbor’s levels cannot be applied to your own home? It’s true. Whether you have a basement or not, cracks in your foundation and the porous nature of cement, along with numerous other factors, can lead to an elevated level of radon in your home.
Types of Radon Detectors
There are two main types of radon measuring devices:
Passive radon testing devices don’t need electricity to function. These include the canister – type devices as well as the longer term alpha-track detectors, in addition to a few other types of tests.
To test for elevated levels of radon, these detectors must be exposed to indoor air, measured in a precise way for a particular period of time, and then sent off to a laboratory for analysis.
Both the short and long-term passive devices are inexpensive home radon detector test kits.
Active radon detectors do require power in order to function.
These might be called continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors.
These continuously measure and record radon gas levels in the air, and operate much like a smoke detector or a carbon monoxide detector.
The active monitors may be more expensive than the passive devices but may be more reliable. A good idea may be to test initially for radon, following the standard protocol, and then consider a continuous radon monitor for longer-term measurements.
The health of your family is too important to leave to chance. If you are like many people, you may spend the majority of your time inside your home. With inexpensive radon detectors comes the peace of mind that you are doing all you can to detect – and if necessary, remove – this invisible enemy.
Please don’t delay – test your home for excessive levels of radon with a radon detector test.