What is Radon?

What is Radon?
Radon is a clear, odorless, radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium. Radon exists in soil, rock, and water. The release of this radioactive gas enters the air you breathe, causing a potential health risk to you and your family. Radon gas can be found just about anywhere. It can get into any type of building — homes, offices, and schools — and build up to high levels.

How does a house get Radon?
Radon enters a building through dirt floors, hollow-block walls, cracks in the foundation floor and walls, openings around floor drains, pipes, and sump holes. Gaps in suspended floors and construction joints also provide points of entry.  High levels of radon can be found in all home types in various geographic locations.  The highest levels of radon are found in basements, crawl spaces, and first floors of slab-on-grade homes. “Slab” homes are particularly problematic because radon enters directly into the main living space.

radon

Cavities inside walls     Cracks in solid floors     Construction joints
Cracks in walls     The water supply     Gaps in suspended floors
Gaps around service pipes

What you should know about Radon!
Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas. You cannot see radon and you cannot smell it or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. This is because when you breathe air that contains radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

You should test for radon. Radon gas has been found in homes all over the United States, and any home can have a radon problem. On average, one out of every fifteen U.S. homes has a problem, and two out of three homes test high for radon gas in Pennsylvania. The only way to know whether or not you are in danger is to have a radon test in your home.

You can fix a radon problem. If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix the radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels by installing a radon mitigation system.

How Does a Radon Mitigation System Work?
Basically, a radon mitigation system pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside. Radon mitigation is also known as radon reduction. The method most commonly used to reduce radon is ASD—Active Soil Depressurization. More commonly known as sub-slab depressurization, this method of reducing radon does not require major changes to your home. A sub-slab depressurization system combined with sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this the most effective and cost-efficient way to reduce radon in your home.

What are the Risk Factors of living with Radon?
The EPA, Surgeon General and The Center for Disease Control, have all agreed that continued exposure to Radon gas can cause lung cancer. 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.

From the time of diagnosis, only 11 to 15 percent of those afflicted with lung cancer will live beyond five years. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for cancer caused by radon.

Therefore, the EPA recommends that all homes should be tested for radon gas exposure, and all homes testing over 4pCi/L need to be fixed.