Radon Testing

Radon Entry PointsRadon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon is considered a health hazard because it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall, after smoking.

Radon was discovered in 1899 by the French physicist, Antoine Becquerel, who observed that uranium salts emitted rays that could penetrate black paper and other materials. In the 1950s, scientists began to recognize the health risks associated with radon, and it was identified as a significant public health concern in the 1980s.

Testing for Radon is relatively simple and inexpensive. There are two types of radon tests: short-term and long-term. Short-term tests last for two to seven days and provide a snapshot of radon levels in the home. Long-term tests last for more than 90 days and provide a more accurate representation of radon levels over time. Radon testing kits are available for purchase online or at home improvement stores, and some state health departments offer free or low-cost testing kits.

If high levels of radon are detected in a home, there are several methods of remediation. The most common method is called active soil depressurization (ASD), which involves installing a vent pipe and fan system that draws radon gas from beneath the foundation and vents it outside the home, where it can safely dissipate. Another method is called passive mitigation, which involves sealing cracks and openings in the foundation to prevent radon from entering the home. This method is not as effective as ASD and is typically used in conjunction with other mitigation strategies.

Radon Mitigation should be performed by a qualified radon mitigation contractor, who will conduct a thorough assessment of the home and recommend the best mitigation strategy based on factors such as the home's construction type, radon levels, and local climate conditions.

In summary, radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Testing for radon is relatively simple and inexpensive, and if high levels are detected, remediation methods such as active soil depressurization and passive mitigation can be used to reduce radon levels in the home. Radon mitigation should be performed by a qualified contractor, and it is important to regularly test for radon, especially in areas with high radon levels.

Read about our Standards of Practice for Radon.

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Radon Basics