Do you know the radon levels in your home? More and more homeowners are becoming aware of the dangers radon can pose, but sadly, most people still don’t know the radon levels in their homes. This is worrying, because nearly 1 in 15 homes is estimated to have high radon levels.
To understand why it’s important to be aware of your home’s radon levels, let’s first look at what radon is and its effects on human health. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in the ground and can enter your home through cracks and holes in the foundation or well water. In high concentrations, radon poses a serious health risk – it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
You can’t see, smell, or taste radon. The only way to know your home’s radon levels is by testing. Fortunately, radon testing is simple, and if your home does have a high concentration of radon, effective radon mitigation options are available.
Radon Testing is Available
While at-home test kits are available, and can be a good way to monitor your home’s radon levels over time, they aren’t nearly as accurate as the equipment we use. Our testing equipment monitors the air continuously for 48 hours so we can see average levels as well as any spikes that may occur. Levels above 4 pCi/L are considered dangerously high, but levels below that threshold can also pose health risks. We test in the basement or first floor if possible – since radon rises from the ground, lower levels tend to have higher concentrations of radon gas.
You may have read that the Upper Peninsula is at medium or even low risk for radon. While this is true to the best of our knowledge, that doesn’t mean your home couldn’t have high radon levels. Think of radon like an underwater spring – it covers a wide area, but only comes out of the ground at a few points. Because of this, you can’t rely on tests from other homes in your neighborhood to give an accurate idea of what your home’s radon levels are.
When it comes to radon, ignorance is not bliss. Radon gas causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. It’s easy to test, and easy to prevent. Don’t risk your or your family’s health – schedule your radon test today.
For more information about radon and radon resources, check out www.epa.gov/radon.