HOUSEHOLD RADON MYTHS EXPOSED!
Radon is a gaseous element that's undetectable save through testing. It enters your home through cracks and gaps in your foundation and flooring, and even around pipes. There is also a chance your building materials or water have traces of radon in them as well.
Radon is extremely dangerous. It's is a carcinogen known for causing lung cancer in humans. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that in 2010, there were 21,000 radon-caused lung cancer deaths in the US. Radon, not secondhand smoke, is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of household radon myths floating around the internet. You may have seen them and not realized they are false or misconstrued. Understanding if what you're reading is true or false is essential. You need to know how to properly protect your family from the dangers of radon.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The EPA action level for installing a mitigation system in your home is 4.0 pCi/L. While the average US home has a concentration of 1.3 pCi/L, 1 out of 15 homes has high radon levels. To put the dangers of radon in perspective, if 1,000 non-smokers were exposed to 1.3 pCi/L over a lifetime, 2 would develop lung cancer. At 4.0 pCi/L, 7 would get lung cancer; the same risk as dying in a car crash. At 10 pCi/L, 18 would get lung cancer; 20 times the risk of dying in a house fire. At 20 pCi/L, 36 would develop lung cancer, which is 35 times the risk of drowning. Elevated levels of radon need to be mitigated, which is why it is so important to know about household radon myths.
WHAT ARE SOME HOUSEHOLD RADON MYTHS?
- You must test the lowest level of your home, like the crawlspace.
Testing is actually done at the lowest level of living. The testing device needs to sample the air you and your family are breathing. You shouldn't test your crawlspace or unused basement. Many homes are tested in the living room or dining room.
- You don't need to test your home if it isn't in a high-risk area.
There are high-risk areas in every state, which just means homes in these areas are at a higher risk of developing a radon problem. But 1 of every 15 homes in the US is affected by elevated levels of radon, which includes homes outside of the high-risk zones. Any home can develop high levels of radon.
- You don't need to test your home if your neighbor tested his, and the level was low.
There are a lot of variables involved in which home will have a level of radon above 4.0 pCi/L, and which won't. If your neighbor has a level of 1.3 pCi/L, you can still have a level over 4.0 pCi/L.
- Homes with radon problems can't be sold.
Radon testing is increasingly becoming standard practice in real estate transactions. Don't be scared if your potential buyer requests one. If you already have a mitigation system installed, this is typically a selling point, not a detractor.
Once these household radon myths are debunked, you need to decide if you'll test your home or not. The EPA strongly urges every homeowner to test their home, regardless of where they live. The only types of homes that are not at risk for high levels include mobile homes without skirting, homes on stilts, houseboats and tree houses. If you have a crawlspace, basement and slab foundation, test your home for radon.
The most significant household radon myth is that houses with elevated levels of radon can't be fixed. This is false because every radon problem is fixable. After testing, find a certified company to install a radon mitigation system. The typical method uses a fan to draw the gas from the soil beneath your home and then pipe it to the top of your home where it can safely dissipate.
More info? For more information about maintaining a healthy environment for your family, check out our other post: HEALTHY INDOOR ENVIRONMENT PROTOCOLS.
Call 877-957-5670 to schedule an appointment with an AdvantaClean radon specialist today!