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Radon Learning Center

Where does radon come from?

Radon comes from uranium, a radioactive metal that has decayed over billions of years and turns into another solid element called radium. Radium is about a million times more radioactive than uranium, making it a very dangerous element. The radium then continues the decay process and turns into a gas, called radon over the next several hundred to a couple of thousand years. Radon seeps through the soil and enters the home through small cracks, holes, or voids in basement slabs, crawl spaces, and slabs on grade. Homes act as a vacuum, sucking these gasses from the soil and up through the main and upper living areas where they are then breathed in.

Is radon dangerous?

Radon is dangerous when individuals are exposed to high levels over a prolonged period. The only way to know if you’re being exposed to dangerous levels of radon is to have your home tested. We recommend you contact a radon professional in your area.

Can Radon Cause Cancer?

Yes. Radon is known to cause lung cancer and stomach cancer.

Radon exposure is responsible for approximately 20,000 deaths per year in the United States. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon in water is the second leading cause of radon-related cancer, responsible for approximately 168 cancer deaths per year in the United States. It’s estimated that 89% of these deaths are due to lung cancer and 11% from stomach cancer. Cancer due to radon in water is most often due to individuals breathing in water particles (steam) in the shower or other airborne sources. There is no evidence that percutaneous absorption causes any negative health effects.

What level of radon is considered safe?

The International Radon Association recommends mitigating buildings when the indoor radon level average is 2.7 pCi/L or greater, as recommended by the World Health Organization. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends considering mitigation when levels are between 2.0 pCi/L and 4.0 pCi/L, but has a set action level of 4.0 pCi/L. While no amount of radon exposure is necessarily considered “safe,” maintaining indoor radon levels that are below these action levels greatly reduces the chance of developing radon-related cancers.

Do I need to mitigate my home?

The International Radon Association recommends mitigating buildings when the indoor radon level average is 2.7 pCi/L or greater, as recommended by the World Health Organization. The decision to mitigate is that of the occupant of the home. If you rent your home, the property owner should pay to have a radon mitigation system installed.

Will mitigating my home cause damage?

Radon mitigation is completed in a manner which should not do any damage to any of the systems of your home. There could be cosmetic effects, but they are usually minimal. Radon mitigation professionals have numerous ways of making radon mitigation systems blend in and not negatively affect the look of your home.