Radon is an inert gas that comes from below the earth’s surface. To see the radon level in your area visit the EPA’s website. Radon gas is a by-product of uranium and it is found all over the world. It is the second greatest cause of lung cancer after smoking and causes more deaths per year than drunk drivers. This is not an article intended to scare, it is intended to inform. When it comes to radon, the general population falls into three categories: the informed, the uninformed, and the misinformed.
Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and it creeps into our homes, offices, and schools through cracks and other openings in the foundation of the building. Once inside it decays into alpha particles that damage the DNA of lung tissue, a major cause of lung cancer. Once identified as a problem, radon mitigation can be implemented for a very reasonable cost. Some states like Colorado already require radon-resistant design as part of new home construction. Testing for radon is easy and homeowners can do it themselves.
TheRadonLady.com has a link to one reliable source of radon test kits. These are the same kits that are used by Radon Professionals for real estate transactions. There are many other sources on the web for passive test kits along with electronic units. Some people are afraid to test for radon because they think that mitigation will be costly, yet the cost is significantly less than what is added to a new vehicle for other safety features like airbags, seatbelts and crushable auto body parts. The systems are fairly simple, yet very effective. When a house is sold, the radon system remains, a bonus to the buyer.
The Radon Lady (who is a licensed professional) recommends that everyone test their home themselves with both short term and long term testing. Short term testing is for 48 hours and give a “snapshot” of the radon buildup over the two days. Long term testing is 90+ days (6 months is recommended) and shows what the radon levels are like during “normal living conditions.” We suggest an initial short term test. Depending on the radon levels, mitigation might be warranted and that’s good to know. Even if the radon levels are low, however, long term testing should always be implemented. It costs only $25 and is really the decisive factor of how the home, office, or classroom is affected. Test your home for radon today, you owe it to yourself and your family.