What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. In a few areas, depending on local geology, radon dissolves into ground water and can be released into the air when the water is used. Radon gas usually exists at very low levels outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as underground mines, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.
How is the general population exposed to radon?
Radon is present in nearly all air. Everyone breathes in radon every day, usually at very low levels. However, people who inhale high levels of radon are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. Radon levels can be higher in homes that are well insulated, tightly sealed, and/or built on soil rich in the elements uranium, thorium, and radium. Basement and first floors typically have the highest radon levels because of their closeness to the ground.
Testing for Peace of Mind
Short-term testing evaluates home radon concentrations over 48 hours. Radon levels can fluctuate, so extended testing in your home gives a better representative sample.
If you have low levels, we recommend you test every couple years. If you do major renovations, you can check after construction. The most important thing is to do the test, to find out if you have high levels of radon now.
Office buildings should also be tested, especially if they’re underground or on the first floor. Any building where people are going to spend any substantial period of time should be tested to make sure they’re safe.
Call today to schedule your test, for your peace of mind.