Radon Gas and You

Submitted by AaronLore on Fri, 12/27/2013 - 18:33.


 

 


Radon Gas and You

 

 Radon is colorless, odorless, and undetectable by your average human, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon gas is created when uranium in the soil decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into a home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point that the gas can find its way in. Radon is even found in water from water wells. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas and build up over to unsafe levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the US Government has set a threshold of 4 Pico curies per liter of air as the baseline level. Anything below 4 is considered safe and above needing mitigation. The fact is there are no safe amounts but the higher the amount the better your chance is of getting lung cancer. How widespread is the problem? Radon has been found in homes in all 50 states. Certain areas are more susceptible than others  but no location is immune. Concentrations of radon causing materials in the soil can be either natural or man-made. Homes built near historic mining operations may be at higher risk because of backfill consisting of mine tailings. The only way to tell for sure is to have a home tested.
If high concentrations of radon are found in your home, you have several options. When radon is concentrated in higher volumes, improving the ventilation in an area is often sufficient to solve the problem. If radon measurements are higher than 4 Pico curies it may be necessary to limit the amount of radon getting into the home by sealing or otherwise obstructing the access points. You should contact a professional to ensure that the radon is effectively blocked and or vented from living area. Typical radon mitigation systems can cost between $1,200.00 and $2,500.00 and higher if the basement is finished. Buyers should be aware of the radon risk in their area and they should determine whether a radon test is desirable or not for that location. When in doubt, the EPA always recommends testing. If test results already exist, make sure they are recent. If in doubt, get a new test done. If you’re selling a home, having a radon test is a great idea. By being proactive, you can assure potential buyers that there is no risk and avoid the issue from the start. So whether you have an old home or a new one, live in a mountain town or in the middle of the Great Plains, radon is a reality. But it is something that we can live with if proper testing and mitigation are done.

 

Submitted by AaronLore on Fri, 12/27/2013 - 18:33.