What is Radon?
August 26, 2021

What is Radon?

“Radon” sounds like it could be the name of a robot supervillain. Similar to a supervillain, radon does harm to humans. The difference though is that radon is very real. It sneaks into your home through cracks in your foundation, sump pump pits, and loose-fitting pipe penetrations. Once it’s there, it can’t get out without the help of professionals. It slinks unnoticed and makes its way into your breathable air. It’s colorless, odorless, and the only thing that puts you more at risk for lung cancer than this pervasive bad guy is cigarettes. The EPA estimates that one in fifteen homes in The United States has dangerous, elevated levels of radon. But what exactly is radon? The professionals at Radon Crew help clear up some of these questions.
What Is Radon?
Remember in science class when you learned about the periodic table of elements? Radon is one of those elements. Radon is a radioactive gas that’s about eight times heavier than air. As the uranium found in soil slowly decays, it goes through several steps or “decay chains.” Without going too far into the details of the aforementioned science class, suffice to say that radon gas is the product of one of those steps. As uranium decays, it makes radon. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. At 96 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, radon actually becomes a liquid that glows bright yellow. Unless something has gone terribly wrong with our climate, humans cannot detect its presence when in gas form without special radon testing equipment and training.
Where Is Radon?
Technically, radon is everywhere as it is produced naturally when soil decomposes. As the soil under your home breaks down and decays, radon gas is produced and travels up into your home. There are only five states in the U.S. that have low levels of radon. According to World Population Review, South Dakota has the second highest levels of radon in the country. (Alaska has the highest.) In 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency attempted to alleviate the radon problem by producing a map with zones indicating where it might be more present. However, the EPA also clearly stated that homes located in lower level zones have been found to have dangerous levels after testing. It’s also well known that neighbors can have very different levels of radon present, despite their homes being right next to each other. In short, we know that radon is everywhere, but it’s impossible to predict if radon is accumulating in your home without proper testing.
Why Is Radon a Problem?
Once radon enters your home, it doesn’t leave on its own. The air pressure inside of a house is typically lower than the air pressure outside. This causes air to move inward, not flow out. It’s like your house is creating a small suction, trapping this radioactive gas inside. Radon’s link to lung cancer has been suspected for almost fifty years. In the early 2000s, rigorous studies unequivocally proved it. Yale Medicine quotes that twenty percent of people who died from lung cancer in 2018 never smoked. More recently, radon exposure has been linked to breast cancer. Further research is still developing about the additional risks of radon. What is certain is that every homeowner should get their home tested. The EPA recommends radon testing once every two years.
Call The Radon Crew
Especially if you’re learning about radon for the first time, this information can be alarming. Thankfully, there are professionals just a phone call away who know exactly how to help. The experts at Radon Crew not only test for radon, but are able to install the right system to remove it from your home. Radon Crew offers several testing processes, differing in duration, expense and level of analysis. We will gladly help you in deciding which testing process to select. Radon Crew understands how to keep you and your family safe from radon. We can help you through this process every step of the way. Contact us today to get started and know for sure that you’re safe. Learn more at radoncrew.com.