Did you know that, according to the DEP, Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the United States? Approximately 40% of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the EPA’s action guideline of 4 picocuries per liter. When people live in conditions with elevated radon levels (above 4 pCi/L) for a long period of time, they are susceptible to radon poisoning. Radon poisoning is when large amounts of radon enter your body. It can lead to many dangerous health implications such as lung cancer. Because of the problems radon can cause, it is important to get professional radon testing and radon mitigation systems installed.
What is Radon?
Radon is an inert, colorless, odorless gas that is undetectable by human senses. It is a naturally-occurring gas that results from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. The gas moves through the soil and enters homes through cracks in the floor, walls, foundation, hollow block walls, and sump pumps. Typically, the highest level of concentration is found on the lowest level of your home because radon can easily move through all gas permeable materials.
All properties have some level of radon in their home; in fact, small amounts of radon are harmless. According to the EPA, radon levels should be between 2 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) and 4 pCi/L. It’s difficult to lower your radon levels below 2 pCi/L, but that’s where you should be aiming. When your home exceeds 4 pCi/L, it can be very dangerous. Because radon is undetectable by human senses, it is important to get your home checked regularly by certified professionals.
Radon Poisoning and Symptoms
When someone is exposed to high levels of radon overtime, it can lead to harmful physical effects. The initial effects of high levels of radon exposure aren’t as harmful as other radioactive substances; instead, it is less likely to be detected than other radioactive substances. Radon poisoning is symptomless; however, long term exposure can lead to symptoms attributed to the development of lung cancer or ionizing radiation.
These symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Weight loss
- Difficulties breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Continuously getting bronchitis or pneumonia
If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor. While you can get a radon test in your home or property to see if you have high levels of properties, it might take a few days or weeks. Give yourself peace of mind and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Note: smokers who are exposed to high levels of radon are more likely to get lung cancer compared to non-smokers. You’re more likely to get lung cancer if you experience a combination of both compared to each on their own. According to the CDC, radon exposure is one of the main risk factors that can increase your chances of getting lung cancer. Scientists estimate that 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year are related to radon, which makes radon the second leading cause of lung cancer.
How to Protect Yourself
The only way you can protect yourself from radon exposure is through radon testing and installing a radon mitigation system. You can call an expert, such as Mold Medics, to conduct professional radon testing. For starters, both the EPA and the Pennsylvania DEP recommend that, whether you have a mitigation system or not, you should test your home for radon every two years. They also recommend performing retests after any major home renovation, especially if they involve structural changes or foundation repairs. This could also include finishing your basement or an adjustment to your HVAC system. To learn more about long term testing, click here.
Once you’re aware that your radon levels are above 4 pCi/L, it’s time to take steps to better mitigate your home’s radon levels. Mold Medics is licensed and certified by the DEP to install sub slab depressurization radon mitigation systems into your home. This radon mitigation system uses PVC piping which runs from the sub-slab radon collection point to the fan that is mounted on the exterior of your home. By creating negative pressure under your home, it forms a radon collection point which is continually vented by the system. The radon gas is expelled from your home through the exterior stack that extends past your roof line. You can learn more about the process by looking at our step by step infographic.
Call Mold Medics Today
Mold Medics is here to help! We protect homeowners by conducting testing and mitigating radon gas. Not only do we follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) & DEP standards, we are also certified by the DEP & have up-to-date DEP issued photo identification cards.
To learn more about radon testing, feel free to contact us at 888.828.6653 or send us an email at [email protected]. You can also get a FREE quote for radon testing and mitigation services today!