According to the Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today, responsible for as many as 20,000 deaths per year due to exposure to levels beyond what is considered safe by the EPA. It is recommended that you have your home inspected and tested to see if you are at risk, as it is estimated that one in 15 U.S. homes is believed to be at, or over, the EPA’s level of safety.
What is the safety level? According to the EPA, anything less than 3.9 pCi/L is considered acceptable. Anything greater than that increases the level of risk in which the individual can find themselves. It is highly recommended that individuals reach out to radon testing companies or a radon testing contractor and have their home inspected or tested. If your home is found to be above the safe level designated by the EPA, the company (if they offer the service) will be able to assist with radon mitigation and abatement services.
It is vital that you get the levels of radon mitigated and abated in your home, if over the safe limit. A home that has a radon level of 4 pCi/l is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow. The equivalent is having the family in that home stand next to a radioactive waste site. Radon mitigation is vital to preventing your risk of getting lung cancer. A passive system of mitigation has been shown to be able to reduce indoor radon levels by more than 50%. When radon ventilation fans are added this level can be reduced even further.
It is estimated deaths caused by lung cancer could be reduced by 2% to 4%, or 5,000 deaths, by lowering the radon level in homes exceeding the EPA?s safety limit.
It is imperative that you reach out to a local radon testing and mitigation company to see if you are at risk, and to take action if found that you are. The risk of lung cancer increases by 16% per 100 Bq/m increase in average radon exposure. Taking action immediately will have an impact on your health.