Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon exposure. The U.S. EPA estimates that nearly one in fifteen homes in the United States have unsafe indoor levels of radon. Most likely, your greatest exposure will be at home, where you spend most of your time.
The Surgeon General and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recommend ALL homes in Illinois be tested for radon gas.
At Radon Diagnostics, our tests are conducted with continuous radon monitors and are performed in accordance with the “Closed Building Conditions” established by the U.S. EPA and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s Division of Nuclear Safety (DNS) guidelines. Our radon monitors are equipped with anti-tampering features and record radon gas concentrations in the air once every hour during the radon measurement period.
In accordance with DNS regulations, radon measurements are made on each different type of foundation inside a home. For example, a bi-level home with a basement, a crawl space, and a slab-on-grade room requires three monitors. If any of the monitors in a home average at or above the action level of 4.0 pCi/L, action is recommended to reduce radon levels.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States and claims roughly 20,000 lives annually. It is an odorless, cancer-causing, radioactive natural gas that is emitted from the ground and enters a home through cracks in walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings. Since radon comes from rock and soil, it can naturally be found anywhere across the United States.
The health hazard associated with radon gas does not come directly from the gas itself. As radon gas decays, cancer-causing radioactive particles are emitted into the air and attach to the surface of such things as dust or aerosols. These radon decay products (polonium-218 and polonium-214) when inhaled, become deeply lodged in the lungs. The radioactive particles attack cells of bronchi, mucous membranes, and pulmonary tissues with dangerous, cancer-causing radiation. This ionizing radiation energy affecting the bronchial epithelial cells is believed to initiate the process of carcinogenesis thus increasing the chance of contracting lung cancer.
The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically achievable in all cases, most homes today can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.
If you find elevated levels of radon in your home, there is a solution. Affordable radon reduction systems can reduce indoor radon levels by up to 99%. Even very high levels of radon can be reduced to acceptable levels.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking the necessary action if your homes indoor radon levels are 4.0 pCi/L or greater.
Limited exposure to radon concentrations outdoors is virtually unavoidable. However, when radon gets trapped indoors, it can quickly build up to dangerous levels inside your home.