Indoor Radon Levels and the Weather

Indoor Radon Levels and the Weather

Radioactive radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United Staes and can pose a serious health risk by breathing it over prolong periods of time. Radon enters a home through common entry points such as cracks or holes in the foundation, fissures, sump pumps and poorly sealed pipes. The radon builds up in the home because it becomes trapped.

Weather conditions can cause more radon to enter a home. High winds can create an overall negative pressure on the home while positive pressure is being exerted in the soil on the windward side resulting in more gas being forced into the home.

Radon is a gas and gases seek to saturate a space with a lower concentration hence the reason it flows from the soil into buildings. When rain or snow cap the crown of the soil, saturated or frozen soil prevents the gas from escaping to the outside.  This forces soil gas to enter the home.

Frequently, higher radon levels can be seen during heating months. This is when the suction placed on the home’s foundation is the greatest.

There may be fluctuations in radon concentrations inside a home depending on the season. It is recommended not to test for radon if extreme weather conditions exist or are expected  such as a heavy rain or snow storm. Wait a few days until the stormy weather is over to obtain the most accurate results!

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!

 

Should I Buy a Home With Elevated Radon Levels?

Should I Buy a Home With Elevated Radon Levels?

RADIOACTIVE!

Should I buy a home with elevated radon levels is a question frequently asked and the answer is yes. Go ahead and buy your dream home with the understanding that the home needs to be “fixed”and this should be done prior to taking occupancy. “Fixed” means installing a radon mitigation system by a professional mitigator based on the construction of the home for maximum results. After the system is installed and running a minimum of 24-48 hours, the home should be re-tested to determine if the system is drawing enough radon out of the house to be deemed safe. Testing is the ONLY way to know!

New construction homes are frequently built with a passive system in place. If the home is tested and the radon levels come back elevated, the appropriate size fan can be added to the passive system to activate it. Testing post fan installation is imperative to identify if the home has had the radon levels reduced adequately for the home to be deemed safe for occupancy.

EPA action level is 4.0pCi/L however the EPA has concern between 2.0pCi/L and 4.0 pCi/L. If the seller of your dream home refuses to install a radon mitigation system, buy the home anyway and install one after you close then re-test. A radon mitigation system is one of the least expensive home improvement projects and by far, one of the most beneficial.

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!

Radon and Your Child’s School

Radon and Your Child’s School

www.epa.gov/radon/radon-schools

Your community has just built a brand new state of the art elementary school and high school. It’s been years in the making and the excitement is palpable. Every bell and whistle of new technology, security systems, sports arena and more has been implemented to support and nourish your child’s curious mind and active body.

Have you asked if the schools have been tested for radioactive radon gas? Your children and their educators have a right to learn and work in a “safe” environment. Long term exposure to elevated radon levels has been proven to cause lung cancer.

Be proactive and ask if this important test has been performed. The only way to know is to test!

Smoking and Radon

Smoking and Radon

Radon has been proven to cause lung cancer when long term exposure to elevated levels exists; low concentrations can add up as well. If you are a smoker, the radon risk is greater than for non-smokers. The effect of smoking causes damage to the lungs hairlike cilia and mucous linings. To reduce your risk of lung cancer, stop smoking and test your home for radioactive radon gas and fix your home if levels are elevated.

Radon Risk If You Smoke

from EPA “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Radon

Radon Risk If You Have Never Smoked

 

Testing for Radon? Call a Pro or Do It Yourself

Testing for Radon? Call a Pro or Do It Yourself

Radon, an invisible, cancer-causing, radioactive gas is not just another “thing” to take care of during a real estate transaction. For that matter, radon exists all the time all over the world…not just during real estate transactions. That being said, staying safe in our homes and workplace is imperative yet many do not know if they have elevated radon levels.

If you choose to be proactive and test your home, should you call a pro or do it yourself? The most important things to do if testing yourself is to use an EPA approved kit that is sent to an EPA approved lab and make sure placement is followed exactly per instructions for the best results. Check the expiration date and if expired, don’t use it! If the radon levels are elevated, always use a professional radon mitigator to install a system and re-test post mitigation to make sure the levels are in a safe range. Radon levels should be check every 2+/- years

During any real estate transaction, professional testing is highly recommended to assure there is no conflict of interest. Using an electronic testing process with a CRM (Continuous Radon Monitor), many of which are tamper proof, offers the most reliable results with an hour by hour breakdown of concentrations. Many pros cross-check their CRM with passive vials as a quality control.

Whether you are buying a home, have never tested for radon and have lived in your home for a period of years…whatever your situation, testing for radon gas is the ONLY way to know if you have elevated radon levels.

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!

U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory on Radon

U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory on Radon

“Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the county. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!

http://www.adph.org/radon/assets/surgeon_general_radon.pdf

Why is Radon a Risk for Lung Cancer?

Why is Radon a Risk for Lung Cancer?

The risk of living with radon. 

Radon is inhaled and can be exhaled before it starts the decay process. Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days. Radon decay products inhaled can get lodged in the lungs by sticking to the lungs mucous and mucous membranes. It is these decay products that emit alpha particles which give off gamma and beta radiation. These alpha particles pummel lung cells which can cause both physical and chemical DNA damage which may result in lung cancer.

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!

Image courtesy of EPA’s A Citizens Guide to Radon

Is it Safe to Buy a House With Elevated Radon?

Should I Buy a House With Elevated Radon?

RADIOACTIVE!

Radon is an invisible, cancer-causing, radioactive gas created during the natural breakdown of uranium in rocks and soils. It’s found in nearly all soils all over the world. It typically moves up through the ground and seeps into your home through any access point in your home. Common entry points are cracks and other holes in the foundation, drainage or sump openings or poorly sealed pipes. Your home traps radon inside, where it can accumulate. Any home can have a radon problem, not just those built on soil and rock with high geologic potential for radon release.

That being said, YES, there is no reason NOT to buy your dream home just because it has elevated radon levels IF a proper radon mitigation system is installed to reduce the radon concentrations to a safe level.

EPA action level is 4.0 pCi/L however the EPA has concern between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends fixing your house at 2.7 pCi/L. Buy your beautiful dream home and consider requesting the home owner install the system prior to closing with a post mitigation re-test to be sure the levels are safe. If the seller will not install a system, buy the house anyway and install a radon mitigation system yourself before moving in.  It’s one of least expensive home improvement investments with the highest return…your family’s health and a safe internal environment.

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!

Radon and DNA’s Fate

Radon and DNA’s Fate

Long term radon exposure can present a significant health risk with lung cancer being at the top of the list. Lung cells that are continuously pummeled with radon daughter cells, also known as alpha particles, will face potential risk. Those exposed lung cells will either be killed, damaged yet eventually repaired over time or seriously damaged with no potential for repair. The exposed lung cells which have suffered irreparable damage may reproduce abnormally resulting in mutation.

Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!