What is Radon?

Why Be Concerned

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless carcinogenic gas. It is found in the soil,which naturally decays the radioactivity causing Radon gas to be emitted.Radon also enters homes, offices, schools, etc. through cracks in floors, walls, construction joints, or gaps around service pipes, electrical wires and sump pits. Houses and buildings that have crawl spaces, low level rooms, and basements are at risk for Radon gas presence in the air. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and breathing problems. If you choose to smoke in your home, you have double the risk of lasting health issues.

There is always Radon present in your soil. What makes it dangerous is what the level of the gas is in the air. Because it is so invisible, the only way to know what your level is, to test for it. Radon gas is measured in and expressed in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The EPA suggests that if the level of Radon gas is 4.0pCi/L or higher, it is the danger zone. This level is when you should take precaution and find a way to reduce the high levels. SWAT Environmental specializes in custom fans to help ventilate and mitigate the house or building, so the level can decrease.

According to the EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes tested in seven states had screening levels of over 4pCi/L. What is tricky about Radon gas is that it may be a problem in one home and not a problem in a next door neighbor’s house. Or Radon gas might be high levels on one side of the street and not across the road. Radon sneaks up on homeowners and causes life-long health problems. Homeowners should test their homes to make sure Radon gas is not an issue they need to worry about.

Radon gas is a huge health and safety problem. For example, if a classroom has 4pCi/L of Radon, a student that spends 8 hours per day, 180 days a year in the room will receive close to 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the border of a nuclear power plant. These kids will be breathing the Radon gas-infused air everyday, and those toxins will stay in their lungs and build up over time. United States lifetime safety standards for carcinogens, according to the EPA, are based on a 1 in 100,000 risk of death. A majority of scientists agree that, for Radon gas, the risk of levels at 4/CiL is approximately 1 in 100.

The EPA and the Surgeon General’s Office have approximated over 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by exposure to Radon gas. Children are more susceptible to the lasting effects of Radon since they are still developing. The direct and indirect costs of lung cancer conceived by Radon are steep for the United States. Based on National Cancer Institute statistics of 14,400 annual radon lung cancer deaths, the costs per year for the United States is roughly over $2 billion dollars. We urge every homeowner to conduct a level test so they can keep their family safe from this harmful gas.

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