Radon Testing & Your Health
Radon gas is a very dangerous, airborne toxin. When these toxins get into the lungs they get trapped. With nowhere to go, the toxins and particles that are carried in the air build up over time. This buildup may lead to a deadly, lifelong illness: Lung cancer. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. Radon gas usually goes undetected in many households until it is too late and family members contract lung cancer. This is why homeowners need to be knowledgeable in how to test for this deadly gas, and how to take action to reduce the problem if it should occur.
If a homeowner decides to test the home for Radon gas, they first need to acquire a test kit and understand what test kits are. Two of the main test kits are either Short-Term or Long-Term test kits. Both of these test kits are passive devices, which means that they do not need power to function. Short-Term test kits last about 2-7 days. The test kits are either alpha track detectors, charcoal canisters, charcoal liquid scintillation detectors and/or cardboard kits. These can sometimes be available in hardware stores, and SWAT Environmental are happy to provide you with them as well.
Short-Term test kits are the quickest way to test for Radon gas presence in the home. Testing with these kits must be done for 48 hours to assure the results are accurate. Since Radon gas levels fluctuate from day-to-day, Short-Term test kits may not be as exact about measuring the year-long, Radon gas average level in the home. The EPA suggests that the primary measurements be taken with Short-Term tests kits.
Long-Term Radon test kits stay in the home for 90 days or more. The Long-Term test will more likely result in a reading that mirrors the average level of Radon gas year-round. Radon gas levels vary depending on the seasons, so the closer the Long-Term test kit is used the more accurate the reading will become. If the Long-Term test kits are able to be used for more than 90 days, they can be used to confirm initial Short-Term test results. When Long-Term test readings come back at 4pCi/L or higher, it is advised that homeowners start the process of reducing the levels. The kits should be placed in the lowest level of the home, which is where the Radon gas is more abundant. While testing, be sure to keep all windows and outside doors closed as much as possible. Also, try to keep the windows and outside doors closed for at least 12 hours before testing to ensure that the test kit’s reading is as precise as possible. When testing it is key to conduct them during a normal day for the house. Testing during unusual storms or temperature increases or decreases might make the reading different.
Testing is the only way to know if your family is in danger of lifelong health defects. Radon is a serious, airborne toxin and should be treated similarly. SWAT Environmental is happy to assist you with acquisition of test kits, and to answer any questions you may have. Please get in touch and get a test kit for the home. One little test can go a long way in the health and safety of your family.