What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive, cancer-causing gas which is produced by natural processes in the earth. As uranium in the soil breaks down, it releases radon gas; a highly radioactive noble gas. What that means is that it won't combine with other elements. Essentially, radon reaches the surface as it is. It is found everywhere on earth, and so radon exposure can't be avoided – but it should be minimalized.
Radon is a concern for homeowners because it can accumulate in indoor areas, and high levels of radon in the air can cause lung cancer. Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to EPA's 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003). The numbers of deaths from other causes are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2005-2006 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Report and 2006 National Safety Council Reports.
*Chart and information provided by The EPA*
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that all homeowners complete radon testing. Since each plot of land is different, every home's radon levels will be different. Even if your home is safe, your neighbors' homes may have high levels of radon or vice versa. Radon enters your home through the soil. Dirt crawlspaces have a high risk for homeowners, but concrete foundations can leak radon gas through foundation cracks, sump pump openings, pipe holes and utility lines.
You can test your home for radon simply and quickly. Our testing can determine if your home has concentrations high enough to require radon mitigation. We can explain the entire process to you as well as provide you with a free estimate. Radon Detection and Control has 25 years of experience in handling homeowners radon problems. We can reliably test for radon, provide you with the results, and help you with radon mitigation if it is necessary.
The First Radon Case: Stanley Watras
Stanley Watras and his family were fortunate that he was employed at a nuclear power plant. He continually set off the radiation monitors at the plant, until it occurred to him that the problem was not coming from the power plant. The scientists that came to test his home found that it contained an incredible amount of Radon. Mr. Watras stated that the scientists told him that the Cancer risk was equivalent to smoking 220 packs of cigarettes a day. The house not 100 feet away from Watras' home was tested and found safe, but across the street and 500 yards down the road, another house turned out to have dangerously high levels of Radon. If the middle house had been the only one tested, the others may have assumed they were safe. Each home is constructed differently and sits on it's own individual Radon producing plot of ground. Each house should be tested for Radon.