You may have heard of Radon gas on the news or read about it's dangers. Radon Gas is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that occurs naturally throughout the earth's crust. It is a potential health threat that most people don’t even consider.   According to the EPA reports, “Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually.”  With these serious statistics you might wonder where Radon comes from, how it gets into your home and how to  test for it and most importantly remove it from your home.

Where does it come from?

Radon is a naturally occurring and by NSC definition:
“Radon is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water.  Naturally existing, low levels of uranium occur widely in Earth's crust. It can be found in all 50 states. Once produced, radon moves through the ground to the air above. Some remains below the surface and dissolves in water that collects and flows under the ground's surface.”

 Naturally, this is a strange thought, but when you consider that this is an airborne threat from the earth itself; but it should be taken seriously.  You might ask ‘how can this gas from the ground get into my home?’

  • Cracks in floors and walls 
  • Gaps in suspended floors 
  • Openings around sump pumps and drains 
  • Cavities in walls 
  • Joints in construction materials
  • Gaps around utility penetrations (pipes and wires) 
  • Crawl spaces that open directly into the building

The good news is that there are tests available which can determine if there is a dangerous level of Radon Gas in your home.  It is estimated that one in 15 homes have such a threat.  The levels can be tested by a kit purchased online or at most hardware stores.  Companies like Safety Siren market a Radon detector not unlike a carbon monoxide detector.  Of course, there are state authorized companies and agencies which can test for Radon.  You can locate your state contact for more information. 

While the threat is real, the good news it it can be corrected if the gas is found in your home If your house has failed a radon air and/or water test, you have options available to you to reduce radon levels to an acceptable level. There are companies that specialize in the reduction of Radon.  For Information on Radon Removal and various techniques, the EPA has published an on-line booklet called  "How To Reduce Radon Levels in Your Home"

 

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