What is radon gas and where does it come from?
Radon gas is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas that is formed during the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can also contaminate well water.
Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The first leading cause of lung cancer is of course smoking, which kills 120,000 people every year. Radon kills anywhere from 20,000 to 22,000 people per year.
At what level should you be concerned about radon gas? There is no safe level of radon gas. However, the U.S. EPA has indicated that any home that tests four picocuries per liter should be mitigated. If there are less than four picocuries, you are still at risk for lung cancer. Again, there is no safe level.
How can you test for radon gas? Testing for radon gas is very simple. You can test the home yourself, or you can have a professional test the home. When selling a home, a third-party tester is recommended to get a non-partial, certified test.
Are there any myths about radon gas people should be aware of? There are actually a number of myths and misinformation out there. For example, people will say they did a radon test but the home was closed up for a month, giving them an inaccurate test. However, radon has a half-life of three-and-a-half days, so even if a home is vacant for a month, the test will be accurate.
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