Radon Gas Test

There have been a variety of studies that have demonstrated that radon is dangerous to the health when it is present at levels over what has been determined to be reasonably safe. That makes a radon gas test an important part of keeping the home environment as safe and healthy as possible, as there are ways to reduce the amount of radon present, once you know that there is a problem.

With testing so important, it is a good ideal to familiarize yourself with the available radon gas test methods, so that you can choose the means of testing most suitable for your needs. Radon gas test methods fall generally into two categories, passive and active.

The passive radon gas test methods can be done in a building without power, before you move into it. These tests use such substances as charcoal and are left in an area to absorb the air and, if present, the radon. After a set amount of time, the radon gas test is then submitted to a lab for analysis.  

An active radon gas test runs continuously and requires a power source, as it is actively and constantly testing and keeping track of the levels of radon present. This constant measuring is thought to be much more reliable than the passive sorts of testing. This sort of test may be suitable for a site that has had a consistent problem with significantly higher than permissible levels of radon in the air.

A radon gas test is an important part of ensuring that your home environment is as healthy and safe as it can be. The best type of radon gas test for your home will depend on the specifics of your particular situation. In a home that has never shown a high radon level, a passive test may be fine. For a home that has experienced a significant problem, the active radon gas test may be the better choice.

Radon Gas

Radon was discovered in 1900.  It is a colorless, odorless gas that is formed by the natural breakdown of uranium, and is most often found in soil.  The health hazards associated with radon are so significant, that breathing it in on a regular basis can be as dangerous as smoking 130 or more packs of cigarettes a day!  Radon gas was first found to be a danger to humans in 1984 when it was discovered to be a presence in homes.  After lung cancer, radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer, so its implications are extremely serious.  It is still not known whether or not radon gas causes other forms of cancer, but some doctors believe that it does contribute to some cases of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.   Fortunately, there are ways to find out whether or not there is a presence of radon gas in your home.  Radon testing kits can be purchased from many retailers for the cost of about $10-$20.  The investment is certainly well worth it.

You can help to prevent radon gas from entering your home by sealing all cracks in your foundation, as well as any leaks or cracks in the water drainage system.  Many local affiliates will also perform free radon tests and radon gas mitigation tactics for a small fee or even free of charge.  Millions of homes have been tested, but there are still millions more that have not, so it is imperative that everyone try to at least find out the level of radon gas in their homes in order to protect themselves and their family from this extremely harmful element.  The more you know, the more you can be aware and informed about not only the dangers of radon, but how to prevent and remove it when necessary.

Radon Level

Until 1984, the average homeowner was never concerned about the radon level is his or her home. That year, an employee of a nuclear power plant started setting off the radiation alarms every time he went to work in a two-week span. After a long investigation, it was determined that his high radiation levels were not the result of his current position of employment, but a silent and possibly deadly contaminant in his home.

His home was tested and the investigators found an extremely high radon level within the house. Radon gas is a highly radioactive material that forms as the element radium begins to decay. The substance is extremely detrimental to the health of anyone exposed to it in high enough quantities, and it is behind only smoking in its tendency to cause lung cancer. Radon is expelled from the ground, naturally, almost everywhere. Houses that are built on granite or shale, however, tend to have the highest concentrations of the gas, because the underlying ground is much more porous than materials like sand or clay.

Fortunately, the government immediately set standards regarding the acceptable radon level that can be present in the average home. Soon after, many services were offered to test for the gas in residences, and if unacceptable levels were found, the problem could be corrected. Now, there is a wide supply of kits available that the homeowner can use to test the radon level without needing to call a professional.

If a high radon level is found in a home, the most common advice is to monitor the situation for a while. The gas tends to fluctuate in volume, and, therefore, it may take a while to get an accurate measurement of the actual quantity of gas present in the home. Then, if it is necessary, a professional can be called to deal with the problem. Lowering a high radon level can prevent the future onset of radon-related lung cancer.

Radon Levels

Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps into houses from decaying granite and slate underground.  As the radon gas rises, it enters houses through cracks in the basement and sump pump wells.  Once the radon enters the basement of a house, it begins to accumulate in the low areas.  Because radon is heavier than air, and basements are often not ventilated well, radon gas can reach dangerous levels quickly.  High radon levels are the second leading cause of lung cancer and is attributed to over 20,000 deaths in the United States alone.  Radon can be found in all areas of the world and is undetectable to human senses.

The European Union and Canadian governments recommend that houses have less than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter, a measure of radiation) while the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends radon levels of no more than 4 pCi/L and says that even a radon level of 2pCi/L can be very dangerous.  You can measure your radon levels by purchasing a radon detector and hanging it in your basement.  After leaving it for a few days, package the detector and mail it to a radon laboratory where it can be analyzed.  If the Radon test is positive you should then purchase a longer term (up to 1 year) test to confirm the presence of Radon and to pinpoint how much of the radioactive gas is present. 

There are two main methods to lower the concentration of radon in your home.  The first is to prevent radon from entering your home in the first place.  This can be accomplished by using a foam sealant to fill any cracks in your basement floor and walls which might allow radon to enter.  The second is to install a ventilation system remove the contaminated air and blow it harmlessly outside.

Radon Monitor

Radon is a gas that has been shown in numerous studies to have detrimental effects on health, making it important to keep track of radon levels, so that radon removal action can be taken before it collects to levels that can cause significant problems. A radon monitor can offer peace of mind to the homeowner, alerting its user when there is too much radon gas present.

A radon monitor continuously tests the air and keeps track of the amount of radon gas present in the environment. This is an affordable device, and for those that have had radon problems in the home in the past, it’s a great way to make sure that such a thing doesn’t happen again unnoticed, allowing a buildup of this potentially health harming substance.

There are a variety of home radon monitor options available on the market today. With a little time spent on research, not only will you find the right model for your home, but you’ll also find one that is available at an affordable price.

If your local retail outlets have only a limited number of types of radon monitor available, or are asking a price that is a bit on the high side, you can easily find just what you need by shopping online. However, before your purchase your radon monitor, whether you do it at a retail store or choose to make your purchase online, take the time to learn about what each type of radon monitor has to offer.

A radon monitor can be a good investment in overall health and well-being, as long as you take the time to become an informed consumer prior to making your selection. That way, you stand a much better chance of choosing a radon monitor that will perform as well and as long as it should.

Radon Monitors

Nearly one out of every fifteen homes has a level of radon that is found to be unacceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Radon hold second place for causing lung cancer deaths. Smoking is the only thing that causes more lung cander.  If you want to keep your family safe then you should stop smoking and get radon monitors.  You will want to have radon monitors so that you know that your basement, which you are thinking of turning into a playroom, will not contaminate your children’s lungs.

Radon mostly comes from rock or soil under a home or business.  High air pressure under a building will push the radon gas up into the lower air pressure in your home.  Radon can easily come through cracks in floors and walls, joints in construction materials, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around pipes and wires in the building or it can be dissolved in well water.  Once the radon gets into the home it becomes concentrated and can be breathed in or can get into water and can be drunk. 

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests everyone use radon monitors in their homes below the third floor.  Radon monitors come where you can monitor the radon on a few days basis or a few months basis.  Radon monitors that work over a few months are a bit more accurate because radon can fluctuate under different weather conditions.  You want to make sure that you follow the directions on the radon monitors you choose so that you get an accurate test.

It is not possible to predict which homes will be susceptible to radon and which homes will not.  Radon levels can even vary from one building to the next even if they are right next to each other.  For the safety of your home, business and family you should run a radon test every year.

Radon Inspection

When a family is moving into a new home, one of the many tasks that should be done immediately is to have a radon inspection done. Radon is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas that is emitted from the ground nearly everywhere on the planet. This gas is released as the element radium decomposes in the earth, and it has highly radioactive properties that may cause lung cancer in people if it is inhaled in great quantities.

When deciding to do a radon inspection, one has the choice of purchasing a retail test kit or calling a professional to complete the examination. A homeowner can save a bit of money, initially, by purchasing a short-term radon detection kit, and doing the tests himself or herself. Such tests are relatively inexpensive, and will be a good indicator as to whether there is any radon present in the home, and they will also give a rough estimate of the concentration, if the gas is present.

If the first tests prove positive for the gas, then the next step in a radon inspection would be to purchase the longer-duration radon test. This version is designed to remain in the home for several weeks or even months. Because the levels of radon within the house will naturally fluctuate, the long-term test will give the homeowner a better idea of whether the concentration is dangerous.

The other option to the homeowner is to conduct a professional radon inspection, either in lieu of the do-it-yourself tests, or in conjunction with them. With an array of special equipment, a professional service can better estimate the extent of the radon problem, if it exists. When there is a problem, often, the same agency can be hired to conduct the abatement procedures, the extent of which will depend on the amount of radon in the home. Once the abatement procedure is complete, and a follow-up radon inspection is done, the family will be much safer.

Radon Inspectors

The problem with Radon lies when a building with poor ventilation traps this natural gas.  The gas then builds up and forms carcinogens that can cause lung problems up to and including lung cancer.  The good news is that you can track the amount of Radon in your home with the use of Radon inspectors.

There are several different types of Radon inspectors that can be used in the home.  There are radon inspector kits that you can use for a few days or for a year to monitor the Radon levels in your home.  Many of the Radon inspectors are of the do it yourself type, but there is always the option of calling in a professional Radon inspector as well if you wish. 

When you are using the Radon inspector kits you want to place the inspector either in the basement or the lowest level of living space.  Ideally you want the results of your Radon inspector to be lower than 4 pc/l.  If you have a Radon inspector with a reading from 4pc/l to 10pc/l you may want to repeat the test just to make sure that environmental factors did not affect Radon levels.

If you have a poor reading from the Radon inspector tests you have run then you should call in a professional to increase the ventilation in your home and reduce the levels of Radon.  You want to make sure that your house is not the cause of lung disease and sickness for your family.
Running a Radon inspector test once a year will help keep everyone in your home healthier.

Radon is found naturally in the world, particularly in hot springs or areas where there are granite deposits in the earth.  Radon is continually evaporating in the air all over the world.

Radon Gas Mitigation

Radon gas can not only cause lethal lung cancer, but can also create headaches for homeowners when they attempt to sell a house. Or, if  you’re buying the home of your dreams, you might discover that everything’s perfect…except that the house comes laden with unsafe levels of radon gas.

However, when it comes to radon gas mitigation, knowledge is power. Once you know about the presence of radon gas (through a radon test kit, available at a discount from the National Safety Council) it’s possible to alleviate the problem without exorbitant expense or trouble.  Most radon gas mitigation for preexisting homes costs less than $3000 (sometimes much less, depending on the home).  This may seem like a lot of money, but it’s cheaper than getting lung cancer down the road, or losing a home sale because a buyer found out about the radon gas problem.   To find out more about radon gas mitigation, or to find a radon gas mitigation specialist in your area, you can talk to your state radon office. These offices will also provide maps of risk in your county or metro area, but these risk maps are just estimates; radon levels vary from home to home even on the same street.

Once you have the facts, you can decide what to do. Radon mitigation is a necessary step in any home  that has elevated radon levels; it usually involves a venting system with a fan that essentially sucks the radon-filled air out from your basement or from below your foundation and pushes it into the surrounding air.   A certain amount of radon occurs in air naturally, and the radon gas mitigation system dissipates the radon in your house into the outside world, where it escapes instead of building up.  Don’t let your home become a haven for radon; get  your home tested and engage a radon gas mitigation service if necessary.