What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that is a natural product of the decay of Uranium, which is present almost everywhere around the globe. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has mapped our state based on averages previously tested. Please refer to this link to see that all Ohio counties are at medium to high risk of being at or above the Radon mitigation level of 4 pCi/L (Picocuries per liter). https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/ohio.pdf
This map is only a basic guide, and in no way guarantees an expected outcome. High levels of Radon have been found in every area tested regardless of the average. Testing each home is the only way to be sure.
How does it get into my home?
As Uranium breaks down in the soil, Radon gas is produced. This gas can be drawn into the house through any openings in the basement, crawlspace, or floor slab. Unfortunately, the same things we do to keep our heated or cooled air in can also create a vacuum that draws these soil gases in.
What, if any, are the health risks?
The EPA recognizes Radon to be the second greatest contributing factor to lung cancer. It sits right between smoking and exposure to second hand smoke.
Radon itself is not the problem. Just as Uranium breaks down and creates Radon (amongst other things), so Radon breaks down to create other more harmful byproducts. These heavy metals can be breathed deep into the lungs where their radiation can do serious harm. This exposure over long periods of time is what creates the most damage.
What can I do?
The first step is to identify the Radon level trough testing. If the level comes back at or near the mitigation level, then a secondary test can be performed to confirm. If the test is well above the mitigation level, then the best choice is to mitigate the home to reduce the level.
The EPA has information available regarding Radon and the Mitigation of Radon.
We here at Safety 1st Property Inspections are licensed to perform Radon testing, and will always be happy to help whether you are buying, selling, or just want to safely keep living in your home. The test itself takes 48 hours to generate a useable average. We use electronic monitors that give the test result the moment the 48 hours is up, so no waiting for lab results!