Frequently Asked Questions About Radon and Residential Radon Testing
When did you last have your home tested for radon? Maybe you’ve never had it tested, or maybe you’ve never even heard of radon at all. For the health and safety of you and your family, read the following frequently asked questions about radon and have your home tested as soon as possible.
- What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas formed by the natural decay or uranium. According to the Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon naturally occurs in soil, and when the gas is outside, it dissipates into the atmosphere, rendering it harmless. However, if radon enters your home, it builds up and may pose serious health risks.
- How common is radon in homes?
Roughly one out of every 15 homes has an elevated level of radon that is considered dangerous by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, the average U.S. home has a radon level of 1.3 pCi/L, which is considered acceptable.
- Do radon levels increase as homes get older?
No, in fact, elevated radon levels have been found in brand new homes as well as older homes that have been around for more than 150 years. The only way to actually know the radon level in your home is to conduct radon testing.
- What is the acceptable level of radon?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, any radon exposure can pose some level of risk. However, it doesn’t become a major concern until the your exposure reaches 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). At this point, the EPA recommends hiring a radon mitigation and abatement service.
- What is radon testing?
The most common method is a short-term test, which takes residential radon testing services
roughly 48 hours to conduct. During this test, the windows and doors to a room in the house (usually the lowest level room such as the basement) are closed and a radon testing device absorbs all the gases that flow throughout the room. If the results come back positive, you will want to conduct a longer test to make sure that the results are accurate.
It is fairly common for people to live decades in their home without realizing that they have been breathing in heavy levels of radon every day. That is why it is so important to get radon testing done as soon as possible.