If Having Children in the Home doesn’t Motivate Radon Testing, What Will?
The Dangers of Radon Gas
If your child was in danger and you could remove that danger in order to protect them, would you? A study found that some parents may not, especially in the case of radon. It has been found that many homes have or will fall victim to radon gas. Radon is a radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers–this includes children. It is the second leading cause for smokers. The study conducted radon and secondhand smoke tests in 550 homes. At the same time, parents were asked if they were concerned about the long term affects of radon gas or secondhand smoke on their children. The study found that “having children present in the home [didn’t] appear to impact parents’ lung cancer worry.”
Spreading Radon Awareness
So, how can we get people to understand the very real danger of radon? We believe that awareness and education could be a step in the right direction. Many people do not even know what radon is or what it can cause. Radon is a gas that is created through the natural breakdown of uranium in the earth. It rises through the soil and into homes through small basement or foundation cracks.
When radon is outside in the air it is virtually harmless, but in a small, enclosed space such as a home, it can lead to a variety of health problems. This includes wheezing, coughing, lung infections, and even lung cancer. Luckily, radon gas must be present for a long time to cause these issues, so that is why it is so important to regularly have your home tested for radon gas. Contact us today to learn more about radon testing and radon mitigation–the solution for high levels of radon in your home.
Since radon is an odorless and colorless gas, many people who have it in their homes may not realize it. Radon is extremely harmful, and it is suggested by the US Environmental Protection Agency as well as the US Surgeon General that every home in America be tested for radon, below the third level.
Short Term & Long Term Tests
The quickest and easiest way to test your home for radon is through a short term test. Some of the most common tests are called: Charcoal canisters, alpha tracks, electret ion chambers, continuous monitors, and charcoal liquid scintillation detectors. The only downside of short-term tests is that you cannot accurately detect the average radon level in your home throughout the year, but it works well if you need fast results to get an idea of whether your home may have a radon problem or not.
While short-term tests usually last a few days to a couple of months, long-term tests will take more than three months to complete. Alpha tracks and electret ion chambers are the most frequently used long-term tests. It is recommended by the EPA to first take a short-term radon test, and follow up with a long-term test if radon levels showed to be high.
In preparation for a radon test, you should keep your exterior doors and windows closed twelve hours beforehand. Choose a room to conduct the test in, one that is regularly used by you and your household, but not the bathroom or the kitchen. Find a place about 20 inches above the ground where you can keep the radon test kit for the instructed period of time without it being moved or disturbed. When the allotted time is over, seal your radon kit and send it to the lab. You can expect your results to return to you in a couple of weeks.
To learn how Ameriserv can help you test your home for radon, click here.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally by uranium breakdown in soil, water, and rock. The most common way that radon can enter a home is through soil that lies around the foundation. Soil tends to carry a higher air pressure than the inside of a home does, and because of this, a house will absorb radon that is in the soil through holes and cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, virtually any home is prone to radon entrance. Old or new, basement or no basement, it is estimated that one out of fifteen homes in the US has an elevated level of radon.
Another way that radon can find its way into your home is through water sources. Surface water won’t typically raise an issue; it’s ground water sources that are more likely to produce radon. For example, a private well or any other system that sources from ground water.
The last way that radon can get into your home is through granite, concrete, and other building materials. Although they can sometimes give off radon, they don’t run a high risk of causing it.
The most prominent routes for radon to enter include:
1. Pores and gaps in concrete slabs and foundations 2. Cracks in walls and floors 3. Floor-wall joints 4. Exposed soil (in a crawlspace) 5. Mortar joints 6. Well water 7. Building materials: brick, concrete, rock 8. Open tops of block walls 9. Service pipes that fit loosely
To read more about radon and the effects it can have in your home, check out our FAQ page. There is also additional information on the EPA website.