It’s safe to say there are a lot of people who want to provide a healthy space for themselves and loved ones to live. Whether it’s an apartment, condo or house, the air quality is something that sometime gets forgotten. Unless you have proof or visible reason for alarm (mold growing on the walls etc), air quality is simply assumed to be ‘good’ within the walls of our safe place. Research has proven otherwise, especially when it comes to Radon. What’s one way we at SRE HomeServices can offer insight? Share what we know about about radon gas, radon measurement and offer the best solutions to achieve the indoor air quality and overall healthy home we all deserve.
Let’s start with what radon is. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. It is usually found in igneous rock and soil, but in some cases, well water may also be a source of radon.
Why and how can this be a problem in my home? Plainly put, homes are built more efficient these days. Some builders seal cracks and gaps during the construction process to assure our homes are as air tight and energy-efficient as possible. With this new efficiency means the air inside our home is being kept in, and less of the fresh, outside air is being kept out. During moderate to cooler weather, windows can be left open to keep that fresh air cycling through. During the winter, it’s not always practical. If radon is in your home, it’s most likely going to be trapped in your home until the gas breaks down completely.
Why and how is a concern to us? When inhaled, radon gas accumulates in lipid tissue throughout the body with the highest concentration in the brain, bone marrow, and nervous system. Additionally, one-third of the inhaled radon decay products (radioactive particles produced when the gas decays) pass from the lungs into the blood stream indicating that the gas does not flow quickly in and out of the lungs, but lingers in the body. Summing up: It’s a long term health risk.
Testing your home for Radon. There are two types of measurement systems commonly used for short term testing. Passive and active. Active devices require power to function. This group consists of different types of continuous monitors and continuous working level monitors. Some of the active monitors can provide data on the range of variation within the test period. Some are designed to detect and deter interference. However, they usually require operation by trained/licensed testers. Alpha track and electric ion chamber detectors are commonly used for long-term testing. Long-term test kits currently sold through the National Radon Program Services website are alpha-track detectors. They are designed to be used for three months to a year before being returned to the providing laboratory for analysis. Check out our resource tab on radon testing to learn more about SRE HomeServices testing process, radon mitigation services, where to find at home testing kits and more or simply click here.
To be clear, most all homes have radon. It’s the elevated levels that pose a health risk. (4.0 pCi/L or higher ) We should also point out the levels of radon can vary drastically from one home to the next, even if they are next to each other. Radon levels can, and do vary by region and soil conditions as you see on the map.
The only way to know for sure if your home has high levels of radon is to have it tested. Consider having radon measurement done in your home to assure your indoor air quality is radon free……or at the very least, under 4.0pCi/L. For more information on a healthier home, consider calling us.