Radon Detection and Your Health
December 11, 2023

Radon Detection and Your Health

Invisible, odorless and tasteless, radon gas often goes undetected and unnoticed in many homes and buildings. This dangerous radioactive gas is created naturally from the decay of uranium in the soil underneath and around your house, and can make its way inside through cracks and openings in the foundation. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can lead to severe health risks, including lung cancer.

Because you cannot see, smell or taste radon, the only way to know if you and your family are at risk is through proper radon detection. Here are the main things you need to know about radon, its impact on your health and how to test for and mitigate it.

The Dangers of Radon

When you breathe in radon gas, it decays and releases tiny radioactive particles inside your body. These particles can become trapped in your lungs and emit radiation, damaging the lung tissue over time. This prolonged exposure to high levels of radon significantly increases your risk of developing serious, even fatal, illnesses. 

Health Risks of Radon Exposure

When radon accumulates indoors, particularly in enclosed spaces like basements and crawl spaces, it becomes a significant health concern. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, responsible for a considerable number of lung cancer deaths each year — according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 21,000 fatalities each year.

Alongside the EPA, several health officials, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, classify radon as a known human carcinogen

Why is Radon Detection Important?

Given the serious health risks associated with radon exposure, it is crucial to prioritize radon detection in your home. Even homes without basements can have high levels of radon. It can enter your home through any small opening, including cracks in walls or floors, gaps around pipes and even through well water.

How to Test for Radon

Testing for radon is simple, affordable and can give you important information regarding your risk. There are two main types of radon tests: short-term and long-term. The former test may last from two days to 90 days, best for determining the general risk level in your home. Long-term tests spanning a year are ideal to determine your average radon level through changing seasons and weather conditions.

Radon test kits can be purchased online or from a hardware store, but a certified radon testing and mitigation professional will be able to obtain the most accurate results.

Mitigating Radon Levels

If radon levels are found to be 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, the EPA recommends taking action to reduce the level. Certified radon mitigation professionals can assess your home and recommend the most appropriate mitigation method based on your specific circumstances.

Mitigation systems are highly effective in lowering radon levels and ensuring the air you breathe is safe and healthy.

Repel Radon Exposure

The risk of radon is real — but with the right detection, testing and mitigation measures in place, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from radon and its associated health risks.

How can you best tell if your home has elevated radon levels? Contact Radon Crew to schedule an appointment to get your home tested today.