Radon Testing


Radon, what is it?

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that is hazardous to inhale. Build-up of radon in homes is a health concern and many lung cancer cases are attributed to radon exposure each year. About 12% of lung cancers and more than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer each year.

You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

 

Where are the highest concentrations of radon in Ohio?


           Map above is courtesy of the EPA.

 

About the Map

Sections 307 and 309 of the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988 (IRAA) directed EPA to list and identify areas of the U.S. with the potential for elevated indoor radon levels. EPA’s Map of Radon Zones assigns each of the 3,141 counties in the U.S. to one of three zones based on radon potential.

 

What do the colors mean?

   Zone 1 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) (red zones) Highest Potential
  Zone 2 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L(orange zones) Moderate Potential
 Yellow-square Zone 3 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L (yellow zones) Low Potent

 

Determining if you have radon in your home

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breath. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. No home is exempt. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level. In southwest Ohio homes have consistently been found to have mid to high levels of this harmful radioactive gas.

Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. If you find that your home has high radon levels, there are ways to fix it. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.

 

How is it tested?

At a scheduled time, we will come to the house that you want tested and set up a Radalink radon monitor. It will run for 2 days, noting radon levels on an hourly basis. It will also record the temperature, barometric pressure, and any movement to ensure validity of the test. The monitor itself does not produce any sound, and should not cause you any inconvenience.  Furthermore, no adjustments in your lifestyle are necessary for this test.  You will however need to keep the windows closed and open your doors only momentarily to enter or exit the house. Your furnace or air conditioner can run normally. Within 24 hours of completion of the test (unless it ends on Saturday), you will receive a professional report delivered to you by email.  We will follow up with you on this and we can discuss mitigation if necessary.

 

References:
http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html