Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that's formed during the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can also contaminate well water.
Health officials have determined that radon gas is a carcinogen that can cause lung cancer. Studies show that radon is more of a risk to smokers, but nonsmokers have a slightly elevated chance of developing lung cancer when radon levels in the home are high. The only way to find out if your house contains radon gas is to perform radon tests.
EPA Radon Studies:
The EPA offers a look at what they believe to be the risks of radon at different concentrations for 1,000 people who smoked and were consistently exposed to a certain level of radon during their lifetimes.
Radon Risks for Smokers:
- With exposure to 10 pCi/L, about 71 would get cancer, equal to 100 times the risk of dying in a home fire.
- With exposure to 4 pCi/L, about 29 would get cancer, equal to 100 times the risk of dying in a plane crash.
Radon Risks for Non-Smokers:
- With exposure to 8 pCi/L, about 3 would get cancer, equal to 10 times the risk of dying in a plane crash.
- With exposure to 4 pCi/L, about 2 would get cancer, equal to the risk of drowning.
Acceptable Radon Levels:
The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, recommends you install a system to reduce radon gas in your home if the level of gas is 4 picocuries of radon per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
Facts About Radon Gas:
- There are no average radon levels for a specific city, state, or region.
- Houses without basements are as much at risk of radon contamination as houses with basements.
- It doesn't matter if your neighbor's radon test was low or high, results for your home may be completely different.
If Radon Levels Are Too High
About 0.4 pCi/L of radon is found in the outside air and the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L. The EPA recommends you use mitigation techniques to reduce indoor radon if levels in your home are above 4 pCi/L (or 0.02 working levels [WL] if your lab uses that reporting method.)
Testing is the only way to know your home's radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface.
The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and National Safety Council recommend testing your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your home's radon levels. There are no imediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface.
Radon is a national environmental health problem. Elevated radon levels have been discovered in every state. The US EPA estimates that as many as 8 million homes throughout the country have elevated levels of radon. Current state surveys show that 1 home in 5 has elevated radon levels.
Call (877) 583-2833 to have your home tested for Radon.