Radon Detection

You Cannot See It, Smell It, Or Taste It!  

Radon Detection

You can’t see it, taste it, or smell it.  But you can test for it.  Undetected, radon can be deadly!

Are you careful to manage smoking and secondary smoke in your home? According to the EPA and other health organizations, Radon is another hazard you should be concerned about.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. On January 13, 2005, Dr. Richard H. Carmona, the U.S. Surgeon General, issued a national health advisory on radon.

Two studies show definitive evidence of an association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer. Two studies, a North American study and a European study.  The studies both confirm the radon health risks.

Early in the debate about radon-related risks, some researchers questioned whether occupational studies could be used to calculate risks from exposure to radon in the home environment. “These findings effectively end any doubts about the risks to Americans of having radon in their homes,” said Tom Kelly, Director of EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. “We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing even low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) says radon causes up to 15% of lung cancers worldwide. In an effort to reduce the rate of lung cancer around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international radon project to help countries increase awareness, collect data and encourage action to reduce radon-related risks.

For centuries, people have been exposed to radon gas without knowing it and without linking it to radon or reporting any adverse health problems caused by it. Radon gas in our environment comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks, and water. Outdoors it present little or no health risk as it diffuses into the air. It’s indoor, trapped concentrations of radon gas that present the potential dangers. The US EPA action level for indoor radon levels is 4.0 pico curies per liter of air (pCi/L).

Radon Detection Starts With A Simple Test

Testing is relatively inexpensive, easy and is the only way to know whether you are at risk.  These test typically do a good job of detecting radon gas, and measuring radon gas concentrations.

Testing for radon is normally done using self testing kits or electronic radon monitors. Inexpensive passive test kits are available for use in residences. Approved test kits must have passed the EPA’s testing program or be state-certified. Some of these tests measure radon levels over two to three days; others measure it over one to three months. Professional testers may use a method of active sampling that involves the use of a membrane filter and a battery-operated air pump to collect particulate matter to which the radon daughters are attached. After a predetermined time has elapsed, an alpha-particle detector is used to measure the radon level in pico curies per liter (pCi/L). This value is then converted and reported as working levels.