What is Radon?
Most people have heard of radon, especially as home owners, however, many do not know that Radon is actually produced during natural breakdown of uranium. Uranium can exist and breakdown in soil, rock, and water.
Radon is a radioactive has that can enter the air and pose a potential health risk within your home. Unfortunately, Radon gas can be anywhere. It has no boundaries in terms of the type of building in which it enters. It can be present in a home, office, or school.
Important Facts About Radon
- Radon is essentially a completely invisible radioactive gas that causes cancer. The dangerous thing about radon is that it cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, yet could be in your environment. When radon gas is inhaled, it increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon has actually been named the second most common cause of lung cancer according to the Surgeon General.
- Testing for radon is the ONLY way to determine the level of radon in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency strongly recommends all home are tested for the gas. Testing should occur below the third floor of the home.
- Upon testing, if it has been determined that a high level of Radon gas exists in your home, it can be fixed.
- If you are buying a home, the EPA recommends determining the level of Radon in the home before purchasing. If it is detected that the home has high levels of Radon, it is vital to have them reduced before purchasing the home. This can be done by installing a mitigation system that has been approved by the EPA. For additional information, see the EPA guide “The Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide” available by the State Health Department.
- The air pressure inside of the home is supposed to be lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundation of your home. This pressure difference makes the home act like a vacuum which can pull the radon gas into your home through the foundation. See the below entry point illustration for examples. Radon can also be in the well water used for drinking, showering and washing.
Associated Risk Factors
According to not only the EPA and Surgeon General, but also The Center for Disease Control, prolonged exposure to Radon gas CAN cause lung cancer. These organizations have deemed any level above 4 pCi/L as in need of reduction for safety.
Potential Entry Points:
|1. Inside walls
||2. Cracks in floors
||3. Framing joints
|4. Cracks in walls
||5. Water supply
||6. Gaps in floors
|7. Service pipe gaps