What You Need to Know About Radon
What is Radon?
Radon is a natural gas that’s produced when uranium in the soil breaks down, and it’s released into the air and water. Unfortunately, radon is completely undetectable by humans, so you could be exposed to high levels of radon and not even know it!
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after cigarette smoke), and the EPA estimates that radon leads to more deaths each year than drunk driving. If you smoke or live with someone who does, your risk of developing lung cancer is even higher.
How does radon enter your home?
As a gas, radon can easily enter your home or any building through the foundation. Once it enters a home, radon levels can build quickly, especially in winter months when doors and windows are kept shut. Long-term exposure to relatively low levels of radon are just as dangerous.
Understanding radon levels
Fortunately, having the radon level in your home tested is a simple way to ensure your family stays safe and healthy. While any amount of radon poses a risk, mitigation can help reduce the levels in your home, sometimes by up to 99%.
Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The estimated national average radon level in outdoor air is 0.4 pCi/L, and indoor air averages 1.5 pCi/L. To put this in perspective, 1 pCi/L is equivalent to 2.5 cigarettes a day.
The EPA recommends mitigating and immediately reducing radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L. On the other hand, the World Health Organization suggests mitigation when radon levels reach 2.7 pCi/L. It’s estimated that almost one out of every fifteen homes in the United States has a radon level above 4.0 pCi/L.
Residents of northwest Ohio are at an increased risk of high radon levels. The average indoor radon level in Hancock County is 4.9 pCi/L, which is equivalent to about 12 cigarettes a day!
Because it’s a gas, radon levels can fluctuate for many reasons, including weather and seasonal changes. So it’s important to have a trained professional evaluate your home with the proper equipment for an accurate assessment of radon levels.
How do I reduce radon in my home?
Radon levels in your home can be reduced in several ways. A radon mitigation contractor can recommend the most effective mitigation techniques for your unique circumstances. The cost of mitigation varies, but it’s often comparable to other common repairs, and the peace of mind that comes with it is priceless.