You are in your home for hours each day, even though most of those hours may be spent sleeping. What you might not realize is that an unseen toxic gas may be in your home and harming your family’s health. Radon testing is the first step to make sure you are safe from this gas. January is National Radon Action Month, so read on to learn the benefits of having your home tested for radon.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a dangerous gas that you cannot taste, smell, or see. Radon gas is naturally occurring and is formed underground when other natural radioactive elements decay. It rises through the soil and can enter your home through small openings, foundation cracks, or even well water. Trace amounts of radon exist in the atmosphere, but when it becomes trapped inside the home at high levels, it becomes dangerous.
Medical studies show a link between high levels of radon and lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer only to smoking cigarettes and is responsible for about 21,000 deaths per year in the United States. Ingesting radon through well water has been linked to stomach cancer.
Reasons to Get the Home Tested for Radon
Having your home tested for radon is an important step for everyone to take. Doing it yourself is an option, but not recommended. You have to read complicated instructions and follow certain protocols to get the correct readings. It’s also easy to disrupt the test and ruin the results. Fluctuations in the wind and other weather factors can give false readings. Some rooms have different conditions that cause varying concentration levels.
It’s best to hire a professional to get accurate results. A professional radon tester has superior equipment and the knowledge to correctly test for radon and interpret the results. If the home tests at 4 pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends taking action to lower the radon levels in your home. Your radon tester can refer you to a reputable mitigation company who will install systems to reduce the radon levels and make repairs to keep them from rising again.
After having your home mitigated for radon, it is a good idea to retest the home periodically and monitor the radon levels.
Have your home tested for radon to make sure your family lives in a healthy environment. Only professionals have the best equipment and are trained to carry out the test correctly.