Why Test for Radon - Radon is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is released when naturally occurring uranium in soil decays. Not only is it radioactive, but 1 in 3 homes in Utah have high levels indoors.
Radon accounts for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers in the U.S. With so much risk involved, what is holding you back from testing your home?
Because you can’t see, smell or taste radon gas, specialty testing is the only way to detect it. The good news is that this can be done quickly for free with Utah Radon Services! Click here to request your radon test.
Check out our resources below for more information about radon exposure.
Home has a Radon Problem? - If you have heard of radon gas and the potential health risks that exposure may present, you may be wondering how to know if your home has high radon levels. Rest assured, we’re here to break down what radon is, what the risks of radon exposure are, and how you can detect radon in your home!
Radon gas is the radioactive byproduct of uranium after it decays in soil and rock. As it rises into the air outside, it dissipates and isn’t a health risk. However, it can also seep through the tiniest cracks and pores in your home’s foundation. At that point, it stays in the air and can be breathed in by those inside.
Prolonged exposure to radon can begin to alter the DNA in your lungs and cause lung cancer. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and is the leading cause in nonsmokers. It accounts for over 21,000 deaths each year in the U.S., and children may be at higher risk than adults.
Unfortunately, you can’t smell, see, or taste radon when it is in your home. Radon can only be detected by specialized testing, but the good news is you can test your home for free and get results quickly with Utah Radon Services if your home has a radon problem.
If you’d like to learn more about radon testing, click here or call our experts at Utah Radon Services. We are happy to answer your questions or get you set up for testing!
Radon is a radioactive gas that enters your home through cracks and pores in the foundation as uranium decays underground. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, which means it requires specialized testing to protect your family.
Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, just behind smoking, and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Even more, children may be at greater risk from exposure than adults.
Because kids’ lungs are smaller and their respiratory rates are higher than adults, they may take in more radon. In fact, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates that a child may take in twice the amount of radon an adult does when exposed to the same levels over the same amount of time. Some research even suggests that children who live in homes with high radon levels may have a higher risk of developing childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Additionally, many children in Utah have bedrooms on the lowest level of a home where radon levels are the highest. The higher concentration is due to the simple fact that the room is closest to the ground where radon is the most concentrated. It’s also important to understand the two primary risk factors are the concentration levels and the duration the child is exposed. The risk for radon-induced lung cancer increases when someone spends time in an area with a high concentration of radon over a long period of time. (For example: A child that is exposed to 4.0 pCi/L of radon over 15 years has a higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer than a child who is exposed to 10 pCi/L over 5 years.)
If you have a child with a bedroom in a basement (or the lowest level of the home), don’t panic. High radon levels can be solved within a few hours by having a certified radon technician install a permanent radon mitigation system in your home. For more information about the radon installation process, visit this article.
A recent study in Environmental International suggests that radon exposure is associated with increased odds of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (such as gestational hypertension and preeclampsia). While all the risks of radon exposure in pregnancy are unknown, it’s safest to avoid exposure to high radon levels, especially in pregnancy.
With risks like these, it is imperative to test your home for radon to ensure the safety of your children or future children. If you’ve tested your home in the past, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends retesting it every 2 years. Fill out the form on this page or contact the experts at Utah Radon Services to learn more.
Many people think radon is only an issue in our homes, but did you know kids, teachers, and staff can also be exposed to radon in their schools? When sending your child to school, the last thing on your mind should be exposure to radon gas. However, this may be more common in Utah than you think—nearly 1 in 5 classrooms have dangerous radon levels.
Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas created when uranium in soil decays. The gas rises from underground and gets trapped inside buildings, and those inside then breathe it in. Prolonged exposure to radon gas over time, such as inside a classroom, can lead to lung cancer and other lung-related diseases. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States.
Schools are not immune to high radon gas levels. Because children spend so much time inside their classrooms and daycare centers, they may be at risk if the building has high levels of radon. Additionally, because kids take more breaths per minute than adults, they may take in more radon over time.
The good news is that high radon levels can be reduced! Eleanor Divver, Radon Coordinator with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, works closely with schools to test their radon levels and protect children in urban and rural areas. Even more, according to The Deseret News, “most [schools with high radon levels] can be remedied by adjusting HVAC systems to increase the airflow.”
We encourage concerned parents to contact their schools and daycares to ask if they have performed a radon test in the last five years or have a radon mitigation system. If they have not tested the building for radon, we encourage you to contact the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
The lowest level of a home is at greatest risk for high radon levels, and this portion of a home is often where children’s bedrooms reside. If your child has a bedroom in the basement or the lowest inhabitable level of a home, we encourage you to order a free radon test today.
Radon Gas Exposure in New Homes - Have you heard of radon gas? This odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that enters homes through the foundation is considered the “silent killer” for two reasons. First, you cannot detect it without testing for it. Second, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States (and the leading cause in non-smokers). In fact, it accounts for over 21,000 deaths each year.
Many think that high radon levels are only present in older homes, but radon levels can be high in new homes, too!
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium in the ground. It enters a home through construction joints and cracks or pores in the foundation. Even if there are no cracks in a newer home’s foundation, new houses are still built on soil that likely contains uranium, and the cement in the foundation will always have pores that can let radon in. It doesn’t matter the age of the home, radon can always be present inside because it is based on how much uranium is directly beneath your home.
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from radon gas exposure. First, if you are building a home, consider installing a radon system before the foundation is poured. This can drastically reduce the amount of radon that enters your home. If your home’s foundation has already been poured, don’t! A mitigation system can still be installed and will be just as effective as one that is installed before the foundation was poured.
If you are concerned about the house you currently live in, or if you are interested in buying a home, the first step to protect yourself is to perform a radon test. Testing a home for radon can be done quickly and is free—just fill out the form on this page to request a test! If the home tests high, a radon mitigation system can usually be installed within 2–5 hours to reduce your radon levels.
Questions? Call us at 801-871-0715 to learn more.
When you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to test for radon gas (no matter the age of the building!). Curious about what this process looks like? We’re here to break it down for you.
When you are purchasing a house, the inspection process is the perfect time to have the home tested for radon. As a prospective buyer, it’s important to make sure you’re entering a safe environment for yourself and your loved ones. If the current owners have tested for radon in the last two years, request a copy of the report. If the home has never been tested, or if it has been more than two years since the last test, you can complete a free and simple radon test in 48 hours. Once the test has been mailed and processed by a third-party lab, you can quickly find out if the home needs a radon mitigation system.
When you are selling a home, it is wise to have it tested before putting it on the market so you can provide certified results to any potential buyers. With more community understanding about the risks of radon, it’s likely that prospective buyers will ask about the home’s most recent level. Even more, potential buyers may see your proactivity as a sign that the home has been well taken care of!
Once a home has been tested, you will be given a result measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). Here’s a simple breakdown of what the radon levels generally mean, but keep in mind that there is no “safe” level of radon, and your goal should always be to reduce radon levels to as low as possible.
For additional information about radon action levels, check out our blog post here.
Although high radon levels are fixable, it’s still an important consideration when buying or selling a home. Installing a radon mitigation system can generally get levels below 2.0 pCi/L quickly so you can move forward in the buying and selling process in no time!
Retest for Radon? If your home tests low for radon, you can breathe easy (literally!) knowing you and your loved ones are not exposed to dangerous levels of radioactive gas. However, did you know that your home’s radon levels can change over time?
As your home ages, cracks may appear in the foundation that increases the amount of gas that enters your home. Additionally, if you make any structural changes to your home, more radon may enter and linger in the air. Last but certainly not least, the soil under your home is aging, too, and this means the radon released from uranium deposits in the ground can increase over time.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing your home for radon every two years, even if your home tested low on the previous test.
Additionally, whenever you perform a test, you should alternate testing seasons between summer and winter. Air pressure changes in the house can mean more radon is pulled in at different times throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to alternate winter and summer seasons to understand the full picture of your radon exposure. Lastly, if you do any major renovations to your home or if there is an earthquake in the area, it’s a good idea to retest before the two-year mark.
Click here to order a free radon test from Utah Radon Services.
Denver, CO, June 09, 2023 --(PR.com)-- The Radon Disclosure Bill for Residential Property (SB23-206) was signed into law on June 5, 2023 by Governor Jared Polis, making Colorado the tenth state to pass a radon notification law. This bill establishes that buyers or renters of residential property have the right to be informed of whether radon tests have been performed and if a radon system is present in the home. Educational materials about radon will be provided when buying or renting a home and buyers and renters will see a warning statement that advises testing the home for radon and mitigating the hazard if elevated radon levels are found.
Additionally, if a landlord fails to notify the tenant or fails to mitigate an elevated radon level, tenants may void their lease.
This bill was introduced on the heels of Governor Polis proclaiming January 2023 as National Radon Action Month for the state of Colorado. Sponsored by Senator Faith Winter and Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Emily Sirota, this bill experienced bipartisan support, passing the Senate with a vote of 23 to 9 and the House with a vote of 51 to 11. This law helps protect Colorado families from the risks of radon exposure. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring, radioactive gas that occurs from the breakdown of uranium in the rock and soil around one’s home. Colorado has an estimated average indoor radon level above 6.0 pCi/L, which is substantially higher than the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States per year and approximately 500 lung cancer deaths in Colorado per year.
“We know that radon awareness laws help save lives,” says Bryan Coy, President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST). “Knowing about the risks of radon in Colorado increases conversations about the health effects of radon and the chances that people will voluntarily test their homes for radon.”
In his letter to the Colorado Senate and the 74th General Assembly, Govern Polis states that this law will “help inform Coloradans of the health impacts of radon and options for mitigation.“ The law improves public health and safety, increases transparency of disclosures, and can be implemented at virtually zero cost.
About Rocky Mountain AARST (RM AARST)
The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists is dedicated to serving the educational and business needs of radon professionals and to saving lives by protecting the public through the promotion of radon awareness and radon testing and mitigation by qualified professionals. More can be learned on their website: https://rockymtnaarst.org/.
Radon is an odorless, invisible, and radioactive gas that can enter through a home’s foundation. Once it enters a home, residents breathe it in, and over time it can change the DNA in the lungs. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, so it’s important to understand your home’s radon levels to reduce your risk.
The only way you can determine your home’s radon level is through specialized testing (don’t stress, Utah Radon Services makes it free and easy to test your home!). Once you receive your results, you may be wondering, “What’s next?”. While it’s best to reduce radon to as low of a level as possible, certain levels require immediate action.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have very clear guidelines on what to do if your home tests high for radon gas. However, some of these guidelines can cause confusion without the proper context. We’re here to help you choose when it is best to install a radon mitigation system so you can have peace of mind.
To understand action levels, it’s helpful to know a little bit about radon levels in general and where the action levels came from. In the United States, the average radon concentration is 0.4 pCi/L outdoors and 1.3 pCi/L indoors. In Utah, the average radon concentration is 5.3 pCi/L indoors. This is because the soil has higher amounts of uranium in the ground. This radon level has the equivalent cancer risk of smoking 10 cigarettes a day, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality estimates 1 in 3 Utah homes has high, dangerous radon levels.
While there is no “safe” level of radon, the EPA and WHO established levels where homes should be mitigated, largely based on how low the radon levels could be reduced to when the guidelines were established. The EPA created its action level 37 years ago and recommends mitigation at 4.0 pCi/L, but also recommends “considering” mitigation when radon levels are between 2.0–4.0 pCi/L. This is where some confusion creeps into the general public’s understanding of radon action levels.
Many homeowners have focused on the 4.0 pCi/L guideline and discarded the 2.0–4.0 pCi/L guideline, resulting in a false sense of security. This misconception is most frequently seen during the home buying and selling process as most agents continue to use the EPA’s 1986 recommendation of mitigating at 4.0 pCi/L. Mitigation technology has come a long way since the EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L action level was released, so it’s important to remember that radon is a radioactive gas that causes lung cancer. The goal should always be to lower the concentration to the lowest level possible.
A radon level below 2.0 pCi/L generally does not require immediate action. But what happens if your home falls in the gray area between 2.0–4.0?
The WHO established its 2.7 pCi/L action level more recently than the EPA, and it is widely accepted as the standard in most countries across the globe. Like the EPA, the WHO has also emphasized that while they have set an action level, every effort should be made to reduce radon as low as reasonably possible.
In the United States, the EPA recommends “considering” mitigation between 2.0–4.0 pCi/L. What does the EPA mean when they say to “consider” mitigation? The main factor to help you decide if you should install a system is based on the lowest livable floor in the home. If your lowest floor is unfinished or unoccupied, there isn’t as much urgency to have the home mitigated. However, if you have someone living on that floor or if you use it frequently, it’s a good idea to have a system installed to reduce your exposure risk. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide on a system based on their home and lifestyle (while remembering there is no “safe” level of radon).
If you choose not to install a mitigation system right away, you should make a note to retest your home within another year or two as radon levels fluctuate based on the outside temperature, seismic activity, and any changes made to your home’s air circulation. This is especially important if you tested in the warmer months and your result was below 2.0 pCi/L. Radon levels tend to increase in the colder months, so you should complete your next test in the winter.
Based on all the information provided by both the EPA and WHO, and from the tens of thousands of tests we have performed in Utah, here’s what we recommend:
If you have questions about radon, you’re welcome to contact our radon experts at 801-872-6710. You can click here to request a mitigation system bid for your home, or to request a free radon test, click here.