radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today causing nearly 20,000 lives annually. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

Babies are especially susceptible to radon as their lungs are still forming and they have higher breathing rates.

What you can do to make your family safe from radon?

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to test for radon in your home. Testing is relatively effortless and inexpensive as self test kits are readily available. You can also hire a qualified radon testing company. Be sure to test in areas most susceptible to radon gases such as basements and rooms on the ground floor.

If your test results reveal radon levels above 2 pCi/L, you should consider taking corrective actions in your home. The EPA recommends hiring a professional contractor specializing in radon reduction in homes as an unqualified approach has the potential of making the situation worse. You can also call the Radon Hotline (800) 767-7236 for advice and information.

Several remedies to radon gas include:

 

  • Active or Passive soil suction techniques
  • Sealing cracks in floors and walls
  • House / Room pressurization
  • Costs for the above solutions vary from state to state and home to home but can typically run from $800 to $2500.

    Simply opening a window will provide only a temporary reduction in Radon gas levels and should not be considered as a permanent fix of the problem. Once improvements to your home have been made, it is important that follow up radon tests are conducted immediately after renovations and once every two years to ensure that the risk associated with radon has been mitigated.