Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer for the general population. The Surgeon General and EPA recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. Fix your home if your radon level is confirmed to be 4 picocuries per litre, pCi/L, or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high
How does Radon enter our homes?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of uranium in the soil. Because of air pressure difference between your homes and the soil, your home acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings. Radon also may 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 — such as 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 do you check your homes for Radon?
Select a State Certified and/or Qualified Radon Mitigation Contractor. Choose a qualified radon mitigation contractor to fix your home. Start by checking with your state radon office. Many states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified, or registered. You also can contact private radon proficiency programs for lists of privately certified radon professionals in your area.
What do your radon test results mean?
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 pCi/L.. 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 of one longterm test or the average of two short-term tests show radon levels of 4 pCi/L or higher. With today’s technology, radon levels in most homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below. You also may want to consider fixing if the level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L.