We all have fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in our homes as safeguards, but many people aren’t aware of the dangers of radon. Radon is a type of radioactive gas that can be dangerous if trapped indoors. Much like carbon monoxide, you can’t smell, taste, or see it, so it’s difficult to detect without radon testing whether or not you have dangerous levels in your home. Indeed, according to the National Radon Program Services, run by Kansas State University, almost one out of 15 homes has a radon level that the Environmental Protection Agency would consider elevated, which is 4 pCi/L or more.
Why should you be worried about increased radon levels indoors? Well, research has shown that high levels of radon might be correlated to lung cancer and since most people spend a considerable amount of their time indoors, they could be unknowingly exposed to high levels, affecting their health.
What are the Dangers of Radon?
The primary danger is its link to lung cancer. The Surgeon General cautions that radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer in the United States currently. Together with the Environmental Protection Agency, they estimate that about 20,000 deaths from lung cancer were caused by exposure to increased radon levels. A person’s chances of contracting lung cancer go up by 16% per 100 Bq/m increase during an extended period of time at average radon concentration.
Additionally, scientists estimate that if radon levels in homes were lowered to what the EPA suggests is a safe action level, around 5,000 lung cancer deaths could be prevented every year. Radon’s radioactive nature is also concerning. For example, a family who lives in a home with radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to around 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would permit if the family was right next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. That’s a lot of radiation.
How Can I Keep My House Safe From Radon?
One of the first steps you should take is to contact a residential radon testing service in your area. We provide Colorado radon testing, for example. This test will tell you if radon is present and how much. If it’s an “acceptable” level, you may not be required to take further steps. However, if it’s above the recommended EPA level, you’ll need to contact radon mitigation services to help reduce the amount of radon in your home. Ideally, radon testing should be done every two years.
A short term radon detector will take measurements of the radon levels for anywhere from two days to 90 days, whereas long-term tests will measure the average concentration past the 90 day period. If you’re unsure about whether to do Colorado radon testing, check out a map of radon levels provided by the Colorado state government, as they can shed some light on whether or not you’ll need to do Colorado radon testing for your home.
Installing a good sump pump or using other underground pipe systems can be an effective way of both removing radon and keeping it from entering your home. It gets rid of the gas beneath the concrete floor and the foundation before it can get into the home. These passive systems of mitigation can cut back on radon levels inside by over half, and if ventilation fans are part of the solution, the radon levels can be decreased even more.
Who Can Help Me With This?
A radon mitigation service can assist you with removing high levels of radon from your home. Our guarantee for you is to ensure that the radon levels stay at 3.9 pCi/l or lower for 30 years, regardless if the home changes hands during the warranty. Make sure whoever you hire is certified or licensed to remove radon from your home, as it’s a technical job that needs to be done right.
Call us if you need Colorado radon testing or mitigation done — we’re happy to help you keep your home safe and radon-free.