Radon is a radioactive, heavy, colorless, odorless gas that is naturally found in Earth’s soil all over the world. However, it is also the second leading cause of lung cancer. When radon seeps into homes through foundation cracks and microscopic holes, it settles in basements and crawl spaces and cannot rise due to its heavy atomic weight. No home is radon proof, but with radon-specific fans, the harmful gas can be removed, buildup prevented, and your loved ones kept safe.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. It is estimated that tens of thousands of lung cancer deaths each year are caused by exposure to radon. In fact, according to the Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths than radon.
Radon is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It seeps in through foundation cracks and other openings; therefore, the most concentrated form of radon is often found in lower levels of the home. Radon may also be present in well water. In most cases, however, the risk of radon entering the home through water is small compared with radon entering the home through the soil.
Because radon can be found outdoors at low levels, everyone is exposed to it at some point, but it's much more dangerous inside a home where the gas is more confined and therefore concentrated at significantly higher levels. Chronic exposure to radon gas increases the risk of developing lung cancer.
Everyone is at risk for high radon exposure. About one in every fifteen homes has high radon levels; therefore, every home should be tested for radon.
• When buying or selling a home
• When building or moving into a new home
• 90 days after installing a radon mitigation system
• Every two years after your first radon test
• After any significant renovations or alterations to your home
Testing your home for radon is easy. Radon tests are available in our test kit shop here and in local hardware stores. Some states, like Colorado, offer free or discounted radon test kits to the public. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website here, to find out if you can get a free test kit in your state. Once you have obtained the kit, follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement of the device and for how and where to send it after testing is complete.
You should test your home for radon every two years, at least.
The EPA recommends mitigating radon, if either a long-term test and/or two short-term tests average a radon level of 4 pCi/L or higher. With today’s technology, radon levels in most homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below, but we recommend mitigating if the level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L as well. You only get one life, why take the risk?
If your test results show radon levels of 4 pCi/ L or higher, the EPA recommends contacting a licensed and qualified radon contractor to fix the radon in your home ASAP. Reach out to one of our exceptional, qualified contractors here. We are very proud of our contractors and the life-saving work that they do.
Winter is the best time to test for radon for several reasons. First, radon levels in homes are most concentrated in winter because closed-up houses keep bad air circulating. Second, the difference in air pressure during the winter months can cause homes to pull in radon gas. Lastly, the frozen ground can trap gas in the soil which then seeps into the home.
The EPA recommends contacting a licensed and qualified radon contractor. Click here to see our list of qualified contractors who use our life-saving AMG Radon Fans.
Every active radon system is required to have a manometer attached to it. A manometer is a U-shaped tube with oil in it that monitors the airflow of a radon mitigation system. When a radon system is functioning properly, the oil levels on each side will be offset. If the oil levels are equal, the fan is not working properly, and the radon contractor who put the fan in should be contacted.
Many states have set requirements for radon mitigation companies to be qualified and licensed. Check with your state radon contact (here) as they may keep a list of contractors in their state. Alternatively, contact the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) who offer proficiency listing, certification, and accreditation in radon testing and mitigation.
Radon mitigation in general is not covered by home insurance, because it is not a sudden event or the result of an accident, but a long term maintenance issue.
The cost to install a radon mitigation system varies based on home size and region; however, it is reasonable—ranging between $750-$2,500—especially knowing you’ve done all you can to mitigate dangerous levels of cancer-causing radon gas from your home.
There are millions of Americans living in homes with Radon and,
generally Radon is not dangerous in the short term. It is, however, dangerous over long periods of time and greatly increases a family’s chances of getting Radon induced Lung Cancer. If you are aware of your home having elevated Radon, you would be strongly encouraged to get it remedied.
Elevated Radon can be found in all 50 states. The best way to determine if your home has Radon is to perform a simple test.
Radon is most commonly found in the basement of a home. That is generally the entry point but then the ventilation system of the home collects it and distributes it throughout the rest of the home.
Everyone is different and so it would be difficult to say how long it takes for Radon to have harmful effects. People with a genetic predisposition to Cancer would be at greater risk in a short period of time than someone that doesn’t have that predisposition. The best practice is to test for Radon and have it remediated as soon as possible.
There is strong evidence linking Radon to diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s but more research needs to be done.
The EPA action level for fixing Radon is 4pCi/L. There is a strong encouragement for addressing Radon levels between 2.0pCi/L and 4.0pCi/L.