Radon Testing

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What Is Radon Testing?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has radioactive elements. It results from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is colorless hence invisible, tasteless and odorless. Exposure to radon for long is harmful and could result in lung cancer. When radon is broken down it produces radioactive compounds which one could breathe from the air hence damaging the lungs in the long run.

They get trapped in the lung tissues when you breathe and as they decompose they release a lot of energy which could result in the destruction of lung tissues. As a matter of fact, radon is the second leading cause of cancer and the leading for non-smokers. In the United States alone, radon is responsible for at least 21000 cancer related deaths on a yearly basis.

Most of the time, besides long exposure to radon, people exposed to radon could also have lung cancer because of genetic and environmental factors like smoking. Radon can be tested to determine whether it is in high and dangerous levels in the environment.

Testing is the only way of assurance of safety from radon gas. There are two testing methods which are short term and long term. The short term test will get you results in a short period of time i.e. between three to seven days. Long term tests involve placing a test kit in your home for a period of between three to twelve months.

Radon testing kits can be purchased from hardware stores, online and retail outlets and also home improvement centers. The best time to test for radon would be during winter and the ideal location is the lowest floor of your house. If you have a basement and you normally take some time down there then you can test in the basement.

This is because the highest levels of radon are normally in the lowest level of a place. Radon amounts are determined in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/l). Radon levels are considered high and dangerous if they exceed 4.0pCi/l. Always ensure that the test kit you are using is certified by the national radon proficiency program especially if you bought it from vendors.

If after radon testing you realize that the radon levels are high then the next thing to do is to take the necessary steps to lower the levels of radon. A good quality radon mitigation system should be able to reduce the levels of radon. You can request for the services of a professional radon mitigation specialist or you can go online and read or watch how one goes about this process.

To cut down the cost of controlling radon in future, you can opt to install radon mitigation equipment at the time of construction of your house. If you missed out on this step, you can, install one for about five hundred dollars it could be slightly lower or higher.

As for getting a specialist to do the job, you will need roughly a thousand dollars to a thousand and five hundred dollars. It is advisable to test a home for radon before buying. This way you will be sure that you and your family are not moving into a dangerous zone.

If the test reads anything over four then you should ask the seller to either take care of the control or lower down the price of the building so that you will be able to take the control measures yourself.

Other steps that are involved in radon testing is you should take to lower the levels of radon is to seal any cracks on the floor with a sealant. This however is a temporary solution. Finally, always test the water well if you found the levels arming when you tested in your house.

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Column: How much radon is too much?