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Did you know that elevated levels of radon — a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer — can be found in approximately one in every 15 homes in the United States? Because it has no smell, taste, or color, it's possible to have radon in your home without your knowledge. Learn more about radon, having your home inspected, and what to do if you find radon in your home.
How Dangerous is Radon?
Radon is considered a Group A carcinogen, which means that it is known to cause cancer in humans who have been exposed to it for long periods of time. It's estimated that approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year are related to radon.
How Does Radon Get Into Your Home?
Radon forms naturally as radioactive elements, such as uranium, that are located in soil and rock breakdown. The gas then seeps up from the ground and enters your home through small cracks in the foundation or walls, the constructions joints, and the water supply. While it can be impossible to keep radon from entering your home completely, radon mitigation can help limit the amount of the gas so that it isn't at dangerous levels.
Testing for Radon
You can test your home for radon using a home test kit, which can be found at many home improvement stores. There are two different kinds of kits: short- and long-term. Both types of kits work the same way. They are left to sit in your home for a specific amount of time before they are sent to a lab to be analyzed. Short-term kits are typically left in your home for between three and five days before going to the lab, while long-term kits are typically left in place for at least three months. If you want fast results, you should use a short-term kit. However, long-term kits can give you a more accurate assessment because they are in your home longer.
What to Do if There is Radon In Your Home
If the radon level in your home exceeds the 4 pCi/L level, you should consider hiring a radon mitigation specialist to help you reduce the radon levels in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), installing a radon removal system beneath your home can eliminate up to 99 percent of the radon in your house. However, the radon mitigation system does need to be installed by a professional. Additionally, you can seal any cracks in your house's foundation, floors, and walls to minimize the amount of radon in the air inside your house.
The fact is, radon is dangerous to you and your family. Because you have no other way to determine whether radon is in your home, you should consider testing your home as soon as possible.Share