Do you believe that you may have radon in your home? Since it is a colorless, odorless, and toxic radioactive gas, the only way you’ll be absolutely sure is to have a local mitigation and abatement company come to your home to test for radon levels. If you have neighbors that have had their homes tested and radon was present, it’s even more important for you to contact a radon testing company as soon as possible.
It’s been estimated that one in 15 homes throughout the United States have radon levels that are at or exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) action level. The US EPA reported that when homes were checked in seven states and three Indian lands, almost one in three had screening levels that exceeded 4 pCi/L, which is the level of radon exposure that requires action.
When a home contains radon levels of 4 pCi/l, a family is being exposed to roughly 35 times the amount of radiation the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if they were standing next to a radioactive waste site’s fence. Even though it is not common for families to visit radioactive waste sites, this demonstrates the seriousness and adverse effects of radon exposure. Radon exposure is currently the second major cause of lung cancer, according to the Surgeon General.
Once you have a radon testing contractor come to your home, they will use a short-term and possibly a long-term test to determine whether or not there is radon in your home or surrounding grounds. While it does depend on the device used, short-term detectors will measure radon levels for two to 90 days. If radon is present, your contractor will use a long-term test to measure the average concentration for over 90 days.
If radon is detected, there are different types of mitigation systems. Passive systems, for example, have demonstrated that they are able to reduce radon level by over 50%. When used in conjunction with radon ventilation fans, however, these levels can be even further reduced. If your home has a basement that tends to flood during storms, your contractor will also recommend that you have a sump pump installed to ensure that you don’t have standing water, which can be a source of radon.