Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that exists in nature, but it is also a dangerous gas that can cause serious health problems in humans, and it tends to affect more children than adults. As such, it’s essential to understand what radon is, how it gets into your home, and the problems it can cause.
Radon is a byproduct of uranium decay, which happens naturally in soil, rock, and water, radon is created when uranium breaks down. As radon itself breaks down, it emits alpha particles that can cause lung cancer.
Radon sticks to dust and other components in the air, which can then be inhaled into the lungs, where it causes tissue damage. Alpha particles are 100 times more likely to cause cancer than other types of radiation.
There are a few ways radon can get into a building. The most common ways are via cracks in the foundation or basement walls, crawl spaces, drain openings, and even the small spaces between the walls and the slab of a basement.
Negative pressure in these spaces essentially pulls radon inside and causes it to contaminate indoor air. Radon can then build up indoors as it is continually released from these sources, which is what causes high radon levels in a building.
Radon is a recognized carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer and is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Even though radon is a natural gas, it is considered dangerous. While low levels of radon are considered relatively normal and do not tend to be harmful, high levels can cause serious health problems, including cancer, especially with repeated exposure over time.
No, as not every property will have high levels of radon. You will not need a radon mitigation system if your property has low or undetectable radon levels.
The types of properties most at risk for high radon include those with:
However, it’s important to understand that any type of home of any age can have high radon levels. So, it doesn’t matter if you have a new construction home or a historic property—radon can still be high. This is why testing is so important!
Remember that every home is different, so just because other buildings or homes in your neighborhood do not have high radon levels doesn’t mean yours won’t.
Professional testing with a company such as Affordable Environmental Services is the most accurate way to determine if your home has high radon levels.
Our testing is 94% accurate and in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North Carolina state guidelines for radon testing.
You can also buy a home testing kit for radon to determine if you need to follow up with professional testing, but to be sure, a professional test from a reputable company ensures accurate results and greater peace of mind.
Here are 5 critical facts you should know about Radon.
1. Radon is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States alone every year—more deaths than home fires, carbon monoxide, or asbestos exposure.
2. Radon is the #1 source of exposure to naturally occurring radiation in the United States.
3. 1 out of every 6 homes is affected by radon annually.
4. 37% of all radiation exposure in the United States is from Radon.
5. Radon kills one person every 25 minutes.
Radon testing is inexpensive, especially considering the health costs of high radon levels. In addition, radon mitigation systems are the cheapest home improvement you can make, which makes these systems well worth their cost for the benefits, safety, and peace of mind they provide.
If you believe your home or business has high radon levels, don’t attempt to mitigate the radon yourself by opening windows or sealing cracks in the foundation. Improperly installed radon mitigation systems can actually raise radon levels, so always have a professional evaluate the potential sources of radon before you begin a mitigation project.
Affordable Environmental Services works with residential and commercial customers to provide radon testing and mitigation systems in Charlotte. Don’t wait to get your home or business tested for radon—the dangers are too serious to ignore. Contact us to schedule a radon test today or to discuss your radon mitigation system options.
You can prevent radon exposure by increasing the air flow in your home and sealing cracks in walls or flooring. You can also speak to a Radon specialist to learn more preventative techniques for keeping your family safe.
At Affordable Environmental Services Inc, we pride ourselves on being accommodating to our community with excellent core drilling services and customer service. We are based in Charlotte, NC but service the surrounding areas. If you're not sure if we service your area, please feel free to reach out.