What is Radon?
Radon is a gas that naturally occurs when certain radioactive elements, like uranium, decay in the soil. It can be found in rock, soil, and groundwater. No matter how concentrated the gas becomes, it remains odorless and invisible. With natural changes in pressure and shifting of the soil, radon can seep up through the earth and into your home via gaps and cracks in the foundation.
Why is Radon Gas in the Home Dangerous?
The dangers of radon are due to its radioactive properties. Exposure to this gas is carcinogenic to humans and it is cited by the EPA as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Given that radon is undetectable except through testing, you may be exposed to it for long periods of time without knowing. Symptoms don’t typically develop right away and many people only experience side effects after years of exposure. The good news is radon-related health issues are preventable if you schedule regular testing for your home and take steps to mitigate high levels of the gas.
Testing for Radon in the Home
The only way to accurately determine radon levels is to order a test. A professional will have the tools and training necessary to measure the concentration of the gas in your home. Talk to your home inspector about your concerns. Even if he or she does not offer testing services, it’s likely they can recommend someone who does.
If the concentration of the gas in your home exceeds the safe levels as defined by the ETA, a radon professional will help you explore mitigation options. These systems involve sealing gaps around the home, foundation repairs, and fans and ventilation to move the gas out of your living spaces.
Radon is a threat to the health of your family members. Exposure can occur in any part of the country so it’s important to have your home professionally tested. You’ll feel peace of mind knowing you’re taking the steps necessary to keep your home healthy and safe.