Radon is Definitely Real and It Kills
As a consumer, you may say to yourself, why are hearing about radon NOW. Radon has always existed because we live on a planet. Awareness has caused radon to be more of a concern now because people are more informed about the dangers associated with long term exposure.
Radioactive radon gas kills one person every 25 minutes. Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in the United States for non-smokers.
Radon is a health issue with a simple solution. Testing is the only way to know if you have elevated radon levels in your home. If your radon levels are elevated, fixing your home with a professionally installed radon mitigation system is indicated followed by re-testing.
Test Your Home…Protect Your family!
Radon, the Hidden Home Carcinogen
As a consumer, reading a subject line such as “Radon, the Hidden Home Carcinogen” can be frightening. Cancer is frightening and every adjective that goes along with it. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the breakdown of Uranium found in rock and soil. Radon is a radioactive gas that when breathed in, if lodged in the lung can cause lung cancer when it breaks down releasing it’s radioactive properties.
Elevated levels of radon can be found all over the world. Radon is colorless, tasteless and odorless so the only way to know if your home has elevated levels is to test. Concentrations outdoors is not a concern because the gas is diluted and not contained. When addressing radon concentrations in the home or any building that is closed to the exterior, elevated levels can occur when the radon gas becomes trapped.
A simple test can identify if your radon levels are elevated. EPA action level is 4.0pCi/L yet the EPA has concern when radon levels are between 2.0 and 4.0pCi/L where the World health Organization says to fix your home at 2.7pCi/L. Approximately 1 in 15 homes in the USA has an elevated levels of radon creating an unsafe internal environment.
Long term exposure to elevated levels of radon poses a threat of lung cancer. Smokers face an even greater risk! The only way to know if your home, workplace or school has elevated radon levels is to test the property. If levels are elevated, EPA recommends radon mitigation to fix the property. Installing a radon mitigation system to address elevated radon levels is one of the least expensive home repairs performed with the highest benefits.
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!
My Real Estate Agent Said My Radon is Fine…
You found your dream home, had a home inspection which was unremarkable and the home inspector set a short term passive radon test. The test was in place for 48 hours with closed house conditions adhered to. Your real estate agent collected the passive test, sent it to the lab and called you to tell you the results are perfectly fine. OK, wait a minute…who collected the test? And what does your agent mean by the results are FINE!
Let’s get serious here…the professional who sets the test is the one responsible and should then collect the test. Standard protocol notes if the home inspector does not have time to collect the test when they are being paid good money for it, they should not be setting the test. A lot can happen in between setting the test and the final results. It is the home inspector’s responsibility to complete the job, have the results sent to the buyer and explain the results. Most real estate agents know radon can cause lung cancer, yet in my experience both as an NRPP Certified Radon Measurement Provider as well as a Bonded Real Estate Broker for 35+ years, most agents have very little understanding about exactly what radon is and how it affects the body. Agent awareness is growing due to buyer demand of increased knowledge.
When your agent told you the results are fine, what exactly does that mean? EPA action level is 4.0pCi/L however the EPA has concern between 2.0 and 4.0pCi/L. WHO, World Health Organization, says to fix your home at 2.7pCi/L. If your levels are within the 2.0 and 4.0pCi/L range, you may want to consider installing a radon mitigation system. Make sure you ask what the radon levels are specifically and if you have questions that require in depth answers, call a professional radon measurement provider or call a firm that handles radon testing to explain in further detail so you can make an intelligent decision. Without a specific level, FINE is not an adequate answer when spending the most amount of money you will ever spend at one time.
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family
Building, Blasting and Radon
The new construction rage is being seen throughout communities these days with luxury town homes and McMansions being built while older homes are being torn down to make room. Buyers want new with all the bells and whistles of modern conveniences. Some may require blasting of ledge to make room for these new homes which jostles the earth and the underlying rock formations. This may result in increased levels of radon seen in existing surrounding homes.
No exposure to elevated radon levels is a positive for the body yet lung cancer is a result of long term exposure to radon’s alpha particles. If you have a radon system in place in your home, it will keep the radon levels low if the fan is functioning properly. If there is no system in place in your home and your home testing radon results have increased based on construction, you have a decision to make to either install a system or wait to test again until the construction has been completed.
To wait could be a dangerous situation and the project could last several years due to multiple stages of construction. In that case, it’s best to install a system early on. Speak to the builder if available and determine the scope of the project. I am firm believer of installing radon mitigation systems in all homes with elevated radon levels. Why take a chance when it is small money for the repair to the home for the peace of mind of health.
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!