Are you planning on doing an extensive basement renovation in the near future? It’s important to have your home tested for radon every 2+/- years as a normal home maintenance task. That said, when taking an unfinished basement and renovating to create a fabulous finished basement space where the family can hang out, a safe internal home environment is imperative.
Insulating the basement followed by installing sheetrock for walls and ceilings, sealing the foundation cracks, laying tile, laminate or even carpeting all make the space tighter. Tighter spaces means radon levels may increase as the radon gas has no way of exiting the home. Many homes bring in fresh air year round through the use of an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) or an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation) and this can assist to reduce the radon levels.
Prior to renovation, consider having your home tested for radon. EPA action level for mitigation is 4.0pCi/L yet the EPA has concern when levels are between 2.0 and 4.0pCi/L. The WHO (World Health Organization) says to fix your home at 2.7pCi/L. If radon levels are elevated prior to renovation, install a radon mitigation system and re-test post installation and post-renovation. If the radon levels are low prior to renovation, consider re-testing post-renovation to make sure the levels have remained on the low side and if not, install a radon mitigation system.
You were just awarded a fabulous new job position which requires you to move to a different state. A new home is purchased close to your work and your children are registered to start school in September. Your new home had a home inspection and a radon test performed which came back elevated. The home was fixed by installing a radon mitigation system and is now safe to move in.
Radon is an invisible colorless, odorless and tasteless cancer-causing, radioactive gas created during the natural breakdown of uranium in rocks and soils. It’s found in nearly all soils around the world.
Radon exposure is cumulative in a person’s life. Eliminating exposure to elevated radon levels is highly recommended since radon is a known Class A carcinogen proven to cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
Testing for radon in schools should be mandatory nationwide however it is still under the auspices of local government to make that decision. Children being exposed at a young age to elevated radon levels remains in the body and continuous exposure can have negative health results.
Radon moves up through the ground and seeps into buildings entry points are cracks and other holes in the foundation, drainage or sump openings or poorly sealed pipes. Buildings trap radon inside, where it can accumulate. Any building can have a radon problem, not just those built on soil and rock with high geologic potential for radon release.
You fixed your home for elevated radon levels! Have you asked if your child’s school has been tested for radon? Have you asked if your workplace has been tested for radon? If your child’s school has elevated radon levels and they are in school all day followed by an extended day aftercare program, they are being exposed unnecessarily. It is an easy process to “fix” a building for elevated radon levels by a professional mitigator.
Be Proactive! This is your child’s health…a simple testing procedure can identify if your child’s school has elevated radon concentrations. Talk to other parents and create a plan to approach administrators. It affects not just your child but the school staff and full student body.
Test your home, school, workplace for radioactive radon gas today!
Radon, an insidious Class A Carcinogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas. Also known as soil gas, radon is the natural breakdown of uranium in rock and soil. Radon in and of itself is not a danger however the serious health concern of lung cancer along with other potential cancers comes from when radon decays which releases it’s radioactive properties. This decay process happens in 3.8 days.
Radon is a concern when levels rise to dangerous concentrations in homes and any building for that matter. Radon is all over the world and not a concern outside as it is diluted. The concern happens when radon becomes trapped in a home with limited ways to get out.
EPA action level for radon mitigation in the United States is currently 4.0 pCi/L. This is a figure that is a guideline for real estate transactions. The EPA has concern when levels are between 2.0 pCi/L and 4.0 pCi/L. The World Health Organization (WHO) says to “fix” your home at 2.7 pCi/L.
The only way to know if you have a radon issue in your home is to test. If elevated, the issue can be rectified by installing a radon mitigation system to remove the excess radon from a home. Radon mitigation is the least expensive home maintenance repair for the maximum health benefits.