The McNitt-Lanning Team
What is Radon?
Radon-222, or more commonly known as Radon, is a naturally occuring radioactive gas that is not visible by the human eye and is completely odorless. This gas is created by the decay of the element Radium-226, which is abundant within the earth's crust. When Radium-226 decays within the earth's crust, Radon-222 is produced in the form of a gas, which then travels up through the ground, and potentially up into any buildings which then trap the gas and allow it to accumulate.
Is Radon Dangerous?
According to EPA estimates, Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and causes an estimated 21,000 lung cancers per year. When Radon is released from the ground where there is no structure present, the gas is able to escape into the air and pose little to no health risks. Health risks occur when a structure is present, and the gas enters the structure through cracks in the foundation. The gas will then become trapped in the structure, and accummulate to dangerous levels. The EPA has established that any structure with a Radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or lower is considered safe for living.
How do I know if I have a Radon problem?
As Radon can not be seen by the human eye and is completely odorless, the only way to know if your home has a Radon problem is to have it tested. Most commonly, homes are tested when they are purchased, as many buyers will opt to have a Radon test conducted alongside their Home Inspection. A home owner may also test their home on their own by purchasing a test kit, or free test kits are sometimes available from local or county health departments. It is a good idea to retest your home at least every two years to be sure radon levels remain low.
To learn more about the availability of test kits in your area, or to find a qualified testing or mitigation contractor, Check New York's Radon Site.