What is Radon?

WHAT IS RADON?

Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. Radon gas usually exists at minimal levels outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as basements, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. Radon gas usually exists at minimal levels outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as basements, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

 

 

 

ARE CONTINUOUS MONITORING SYSTEMS MORE ACCURATE THAN A PASSIVE TEST KIT? 

Charcoal Radon Test Kits

Passive test kits do not provide instantaneous results. Instead, these test kits must be mailed to a qualified lab to obtain results. Mailing these kits are subject to being lost, damaged, or tampered with.

Weather conditions can also have an adverse effect on these type of tests which can skew the results. If it happens to rain during this test, the rain "pushes" the radon out of the ground which will result in a high "false positive" radon reading. Since labs only provide an average reading, there is no way to tell the difference between rainfall or actual radon levels.

Continuous monitoring system

 

A Continuous Monitoring System is most popular in real estate transactions where fast, accurate results are required. A detailed report is usually provided to the client upon completion of the test.

A Continuous Radon Monitoring (CRM) system cannot be tampered with - these systems take highly accurate hourly air samples and will indicate spikes in Radon levels, if the unit is moved or tampered with, or shut off. Veteran Inspections & Services utilizes Continuous Radon Testing for all of Ottawa County, MI and Kent County, MI, and provides same-day results upon completion of the test.

How is my family exposed to Radon?

Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. It's possible Radon levels may be higher in homes that are well insulated, tightly sealed such as newer construction, and built on soil rich in the elements uranium, thorium, and radium. Basement and first floors typically have the highest radon levels due to their proximity to the ground.

How many people have died due to Radon exposure?

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer and Radon represents a much smaller risk for this disease, but it holds strong as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Scientists have estimated 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year are related to radon.

How do I know if my home has Radon?

Testing is the only true way to know if a home has elevated radon levels. Indoor radon levels are affected by the soil composition and location of Uranium deposits under and around the house, and the ease with which radon gas enters the house.

It is important to note that homes next door or in the same neighborhood can have different indoor radon levels, making a neighbor’s test result a poor indicator of radon risk!

Because the presence of Radon gas is so unpredictable, the EPA provides a disclaimer for it's Radon Zone Map that states:

"The purpose of this map is to assist national, state and local organizations to target their resources and to implement radon-resistant building codes. This map is not intended to be used to determine if a home in a given zone should be tested for radon. Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones. All homes should be tested regardless of geographic location. EPA recommends that this map be supplemented with any available local data in order to further understand and predict the radon potential for a specific area."