It’s scentless, invisible, and it could be in your home right now. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency, “Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.” A substance that can cause harm that you cannot see or smell might sound like something out of a science fiction story, but it is more widespread then you may think. Local radon testing across the nation has shown that some areas are at a worse risk for the gas than others. As it is naturally occurring some areas are simply more prone to it. This makes radon gas testing a necessity, and this is how it is done.
Local radon testing in your area will recommend which type of test would be best for your home based on what is seen in the area, or “radon zone” as it is called. They will be looking for what qualifies as a dangerous level of gas, which is above a 4 pCi/ L. Even if your home tests at or just below this level, it is a good idea to apply radon mitigation and abatement techniques.
The level discovered by your local radon testing agency can be done in two ways, by a short term test of 2 to 90 days, or a long term test of more than 90 days. Generally, a short term test is recommended first to establish if the radon levels present an immediate danger. Longer tests are able to better predict the average level of radon being emitted, as levels actually fluctuate over the course of each day.
Radon emissions are mitigated by using what is known as a sub-slab depression, which is essentially a ventilation system with a special fan that in conjunction suck the fumes from beneath the house and dispel them to the outside air. This is the best solution at the moment to mitigate the fumes occurring naturally.
You may not yet be convinced that radon gas is worth the trouble of calling up your local radon testing agency, waiting on test results, and possibly installing a vent and fan combination underneath your home. The risks from long term radon gas exposure are significant. The acceptable level may be a 4 pCi/ L, but that is 35 times the level of radiation a person standing next to a radioactive waste dumping site, asserts the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The EPA estimates that 20,000 lung cancer fatalities are a result of long term exposure to radon gas. Still not convinced? Some estimate that one in 15 homes in the U.S. are actually above what is considered a dangerous level of radon that requires immediate mitigation.
Radon gas is dangerous. It is radioactive, undetectable by sight or smell, and it could be in your home right now. Do the right thing for yourself and your family, and get your home tested for radon gas.