A lot of people have fire detectors in their homes. Some even test for carbon monoxide levels. However, there is one killer that a lot of times gets ignored and that is Radon.
According to the EPA ,one out of every 15 homes in America has some form of Radon poisoning. That is actually higher than the two that I just mentioned. Radon is a radioactive gas that develops from the natural decay of uranium that is found in many soils. It moves up through the ground to the air above. It can enter homes through cracks in the foundation, or holes in the floor. Your house then traps it inside where it continues to grow. Any home can have this problem. It doesn’t matter if your home is new or old, has a basement or no basement, is sealed or not sealed. Radon will find a way in.
The only way to know if Radon gas is in your home is to test for it. Some States require testing before a house can be sold, rented or leased. The problem has to be eradicated. Radon can’t be seen. However, it can be tested for rather quickly. There are two types of test that you can do. They are short term testing and long term testing. Short term testing can be done over a two day period, while long term testing runs about 90 days or longer. Check out this information here.
Short term testing is done by using a “Charcoal Cannister”. There is also the “alpha track” and “electrict ion chamber”, and “continuous monitors.”
When you get a test kit, follow the exact instructions. Close all windows and outdoor doors and keep them closed as much as possible. Do this at least 12 hours before testing begins. Heating and Air-conditioning fans that circulate the air are okay for use. Do not use fan or machines that bring in air from the outside. Place the kit at the lowest level in the house like a basement. If the basement isn’t part of your living area, place it where the house is used the most like a kitchen or living room. The kit must be 20 inches above the floor. when the test is over, seal it and send it off to the lab that is marked on the kit.
If the result of your test is 4pCi/l or higher, do the test again to be sure. This stands for picoCuries per liter of air. The higher it is the more work you have to do to your house. the average level for a home is about 1.3 pCi/l .
Fixing the problem could be very expensive or inexpensive depending on the problem. You can tuck point small cracks and holes in the foundation. Holes where pipes enter the house need to be sealed up. Window cracks and seals need to be re-glazed. If you have major cracks in your foundation, this may cost some more than normal. The thing is, you want to protect yourself and family from this cancer causing agent.
Radon can enter through your water supply too. If you use a well, then you need to test it for Radon. Usually, it isn’t as big a problem as that it comes in from the ground. Water testing can be found at here.
There is no safe level for Radon. However, things can be done once testing is complete to help reduce the problem.
Radon gas enters the lungs over a period of time and starts to break down the tissue in the lungs. Over time this develops into cancer. If you are a smoker, it increases your chances for developing cancer.
Many individuals don’t believe that Radon is a problem. However, it has been documented that Radon gas can cause cancer.
You can find test kits at local hardware stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. For more information, visit the site below.
A Citizens Guide to Radon