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Is Radon Real?

Having been in the Radon industry for almost 27 years, the question that I get most often, “Is Radon real?”  My answer always begins with my telling them that I wouldn’t have dedicated the greater part of my professional life to it if it wasn’t, but there is certainly more to say.  Radon is certainly real.  After all, it can be found on the periodic table of elements.  Science has confirmed that radon is a radioactive gas that causes lung cancer.  In fact, it is a class A carcinogen and is the second leading cause of Lung Cancer behind smoking. It kills an estimated 23,000 people in the United States every year.  This is not speculation; it is science and fact.  Having a family in an environment of continuous radiation exposure would never be considered a good idea yet that is exactly what is happening to a family living in a home with Radon.  Every major health organization in the US considers Radon to be the most dangerous thing that you will be exposed to in your home.  Research shows that there is risk at every level of Radon, but an action level has been set at 4.0pCi/L with a strong suggestion of considering correction at levels between 2pCi/L and 4pCi/L.  Many people are stunned to learn that levels of 4pCi/L in a home is the direct health equivalent of your family either smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day or getting 500 unprotected chest x-rays a year.  Either one of those is pretty alarming for anybody.  I am certain that no good parent would allow their toddler to get 500 chest x-rays a year or to smoke 10 cigarettes a day. 


Now that we know what Radon is and that it is bad, what can we do to protect our families?  The good news is that Radon can be tested for and corrected very easily.  There are a variety of testing methods available, several of which you can do yourself very inexpensively (for as little as $10).  They can be purchased online or in large home improvement stores.  The are very accurate and you can find out your Radon levels usually within a week when using this method.  There are also electronic Radon monitors available that will continuously monitor your levels and alert you when they rise above the action level.  One of these can be purchased for between $150 and $200.  There are also Radon Testing Professionals that can perform your Radon test if you are more comfortable with that.  They are also used for real estate transactions where a professional test is required.  These tests usually run between $200 and $250.  If your test comes up above the action level, it is not a reason to become alarmed.  Radon mitigation or remediation can typically be done in less than a day and typically ranges between $1000 and $2500.  In the majority of cases, it is very easy to contact a Radon Mitigation Professional to get a free estimate and to learn what the process would be for your individual home.  If you are convinced now that Radon is real, I would encourage you to go out and get a Radon test and find out what your levels are.  If they are high, contact a Radon professional and get an estimate.  You will be glad that you did.