January is Radon action month which means you are probably hearing a bunch of scary things about radon gas on the radio or the news. You might be asking yourself, is radon a hoax? Radon, in fact, is very real. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US, second only to smoking.
It's not a riddle and it's not a hoax. Uranium in soil decays and creates a radioactive gas called radon. As the soil breaks down and creates radon, it enters your home through the cracks and pores in the foundation or through construction joints. As it accumulates in your home, it can create a serious health risk. Radon actually accounts for up to 70% of all the radiation that we are exposed to here in Utah.
Because it can't be seen, smelled, or tasted, many people think it has to be a scam. However, uranium is one of the most common elements in the earths crust. This means radon gas isn't going away anytime soon.
The first thing you have to know is that ANY home can have radon gas. In Utah, 1 in 3 homes have elevated levels of radon according to past testing. And unfortunately, even if your next door neighbor tested low, your home could still have a radon problem. Radon doesn't come from the structure but rather the soil beneath the structure. That means whether your house is 100 years old or you just finished construction, any home can have dangerous levels of radon.
The most important thing you can do, is test your home for radon gas. Testing is the only way to determine if your home has a radon problem. Although there are a few options available for testing, you can ensure accurate results by having a professional company test and provide certified results.
Once you know the level of radon in your home, you can then know if further steps will be required. There are "radon action levels" that let you know when you have to take action. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Radon levels in a home should not be higher than 2.7 (pCi/L). However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends action to be taken when levels are at 4.0 (pCi/L). At either level, prolonged exposure to radon gas can lead to the development of lung cancer. You can learn more about radon action levels and recommendations here.
If your home tests above those action levels, installing a radon mitigation system is a quick and affordable way to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. A Radon Mitigation System consists of a network of fans and pipe to help vent radon safely out of the home. The system is usually installed in the lowest level of the house, but location is ultimately determined based on the layout of the property.
Now that we've answered the question, is radon a hoax, it's time to find out if your home has high radon levels. Don't risk exposing yourself and your family to the second leading cause of lung cancer. This is something you can easily prevent. Simply fill out the form on this page or call us at 801-871-0715 to request a FREE radon test for your home.