What is Radon?
Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that derives from sub atomic degeneration of Uranium underground. Radon and its Radon Decay Products, when inhaled, attach themselves to the lung lining, causing damage to the lining's DNA. Over time, depending largely on the dose and duration, Radon can cause lung cancer.
Where is Radon, and How Prevalent is it?
Radon occurs naturally and has been found at elevated levels in all 50 states. Colorado is considered a red state with “high radon potential.”
Yes, radon is a Cancer-causing, Radioactive Gas. Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of lung cancer deaths each year. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Is Radon Dangerous?
The EPA recommends testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. Fix your home if your radon level is 4 Pico curries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
Should I Test My Home?
Mitigation systems can substantially reduce radon levels in your home. Your home acts as a kind of vacuum cleaner, drawing in radon gas from beneath and around your home. Air pressure in your home is usually lower than soil pressure around your home's foundation. This vacuum effect is especially high in wintertime as the stack effect of home heating draws air upward. A mitigation system can substantially reduces the amount of radon entering your home.
Does Radon Mitigation Really Work?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings. Radon may also be present in well water and can be released into the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses. In most cases, radon entering the home through water is a small risk compared with radon entering your home from the soil. In a small number of homes, the building materials (e.g., granite and certain concrete products) can give off radon, although building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves. In the United States, radon gas in soils is the principal source of elevated radon levels in homes.
How Does Radon Enter My Home?
Since you cannot see or smell radon, special equipment is needed to detect it. There are two types of radon testing devices. Passive radon testing devices do not need power to function. These include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and electronic chamber detectors. Both short- and long-term passive devices are generally inexpensive. Active radon testing devices require power to function and usually provide hourly readings and an average result for the test period. These include continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors, and these tests may cost more. Give us a call when you are ready to test and we can schedule a time to do so.
How Do I Select a Radon Test Kit?
Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the radon levels in your home, the lower your family's risk of lung cancer. The amount of radon in the air is measured in "picocuries of radon per liter of air," or "pCi/L." Sometimes test results are expressed in Working Levels, "WL," rather than picocuries per liter of air. A level of 0.016 WL is usually equal to about 4 pCi/L in a typical home.
The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels; about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. EPA recommends fixing your home if the results one long-termtest or the average of two short-term tests show radon levels of 4 pCi/L (or 0.016 WL) or higher. With today's technology, radon levels in most homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below. You may also want to consider fixing if the level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L.
A short-term test remains in your home for 2 days to 90 days, whereas a long-term test remains in your home for more than 90 days. All radon tests should be taken for a minimum of 48 hours. A short-term test will yield faster results, but a long-term test will give a better understanding of your home's year-round average radon level.
The EPA recommends two categories of radon testing. One category is for concerned homeowners or occupants whose house is not for sale; refer to EPA's A Citizen’s Guide to Radon for testing guidance. The second category is for real estate transactions; refer to EPA's Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon, which provides guidance and answers to some common questions.
What Do My Test Results Mean?
EPA recommends that you have a qualified radon mitigation contractor fix your home because lowering high radon levels requires specific technical knowledge and special skills. Without the proper equipment or technical knowledge, you could actually increase your radon level or create other potential hazards and additional costs. RadonRelief is a state certified contractor.
Why Should I Hire Radon Relief?
EPA recommends that you use a state certified and/or qualified radon mitigation contractor trained to fix radon problems. You can determine a service provider's qualifications to perform radon measurements or to mitigate your home in several ways. RadonRelief is listed with the Colorado state radon office and we follow the industry consensus standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Practice for Installing Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Low-Rise Residential Buildings, E2121 (February 2003).
Will Any Contractor Do?
Radon Relief Offers both Testing and Mitigation Services? Is This a Conflict?
No. Our mitigation tests are sent to an independent, third-party lab preventing any conflict of interest. We report the results back to you based on their independent evaluation.