With lots of noise online about radon and its potential dangers, it can be easy to get caught up in all the information and not know what to do. To simplify things, we’ve rounded up some common facts and myths about radon so you can better understand what radon is, what the health implications are, when you should install a mitigation system, and more.
See how many of these radon facts and myths you can guess correctly!
- Radon is a gas.
Fact. Radon is an odorless, colorless, and radioactive gas. It’s created through the breakdown of radium, which is the decay product or uranium. Because both elements are naturally occurring in the soil, radon also occurs naturally and harmlessly outside. This gas can enter homes and buildings through cracks in the basement or foundation, which can lead to health implications after long exposure.
- Radon tests take a long time.
Myth. Radon tests may take a while, but it isn’t something you need to check on every hour. Just set it up in a room, and leave it (and the room) undisturbed for 48 hrs. Don’t unplug, contaminate the room with outside air by opening doors and windows to the outside, or have AC run in that room.
- Radon levels should be zero in homes.
Myth. It is impossible to completely eradicate radon. All properties have some level of radon; in fact, small amounts of it are actually harmless. For perspective, the average outdoor radon level is 0.4 pCi/L. In homes, radon levels should be between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. It’s difficult to reduce levels below 2 pCi/L, but that’s where you should be aiming.
- If my neighbor doesn’t have a radon problem, neither do I.
Myth. Whether your neighbor has low or elevated levels of radon in their home does not mean your home is the same, even if you’re next-door neighbors. The level of radon in your home depends on various factors that are specific to each home, including ventilation, cracks in the foundation, soil composition, ground permeability, and more. The only way to know if your home has safe levels is by conducting radon testing.
- Radon is everywhere.
Fact. Radon is a naturally occurring element, and there will always be some level of radon in the air, even if you install a mitigation system. But don’t worry, it’s completely safe. You can revisit our blog post to learn more about what radon levels mean and when you should take action.
- Some homes are more susceptible to elevated radon than others.
Fact. As mentioned above, the level of radon in your home depends on the ventilation, if they’re cracks in the foundation, soil composition, ground permeability, and more. Some newer homes are built with radon-resistant materials and construction techniques, such as air handling units in basement ducts, to help lessen radon levels.
- Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Fact. When someone is exposed to high levels of radon overtime, it can lead to harmful physical effects, such as radon poisoning. The initial effects of high levels of radon exposure aren’t as harmful as other radioactive substances, but it can lead to symptoms attributed to the development of lung cancer or ionizing radiation. These symptoms include chest pain, coughing, weight loss, fatigue, and more.
- Only certain parts of the country experience elevated radon levels.
Myth. While there are some areas and regions with more and less radon, it doesn’t mean you should be more or less concerned if you’re in a high-risk or low-risk area. The level of radon in your home is very localized and depends on the soil composition, construction, and ventilation. The only way to be certain is by doing long term radon testing.
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If you have any questions about radon, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team of experts is readily available to assist you.
If you’re interested in implementing long term testing in your home or need to install a mitigation system, we can help too. For more details, visit our blog and website, or contact us to get started.