Radon

 

 

Radon can enter your home through cracks in concrete and wood floors, cracks in walls, cavities inside walls, gaps around service pipes or any open areas from the ground to the interior of your home. Radon is a radioactive gas, which occurs naturally in some areas. This gas is undetectable by sight. It cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. Long term of exposure to high levels of radon gas could increase the risk of lung cancer. Radon is a naturally occurring gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation. Because of the difference in pressure, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings.

Radon levels can vary from season to season as well as from room to room.  The screening measurement serves to indicate the potential for a radon problem.  Depending upon the result of your screening measurement, you may need to have follow-up measurements made to give you a better idea of the average radon levels in your home

 

The amount of radon in the air is measured in “picoCuries of radon per liter of air,” or “pCi/L.” Sometimes the test results are expressed in working levels. Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the radon levels in your home, the lower your family’s risk of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (RPA) recommends fixing your home if the results of the test is above 4 pCi/L

 

Radon levels can vary from season to season as well as from room to room. The screening measurement serves to indicate the potential for a radon problem. Depending upon the result of your screening measurement, you may need to have follow-up measurements made to give you a better idea of the average radon level in your home.

The following guidelines may be useful to you in determining the urgency of your need for follow-up measurements and remedial actions:

>- If your screening measurement result is less than about 4 pCi/l:

Follow-up measurements are probably not required. If the screening measurement was made with the house closed up prior to and during the testing period, there is relatively little chance that the radon concentration in your home will be greater than 4 pCi/l as an annual average.

>- If your screening measurement result is 4 pCi/l to 20 pCi/l:

Perform follow-up measurements. Expose detectors during each of the four seasons. Based on follow-up measurement results:

Exposures in this range are considered above average for residential structures. You should take action to lower levels to 4 pCi/1 or below. We recommend that you take action within a few years, or sooner if levels are at the upper end of this range.

>- If your screening measurement result is 20 pCi/l to about 200 pCi/l:

Perform follow-up measurements. Doors and windows should be closed as much as possible during testing. Based on your follow-up measurement results:

Exposures in this range are considered greatly above average for residential structures. You should take action to reduce levels as far below 20 pCi/l as possible. We recommend that you take action within several months.

>- If your screening measurement result is greater than 200 pCi/l:

You should perform follow-up measurements as soon as possible. Expose the detectors for no more than one week. Doors and windows should be closed as much as possible during testing. You should also consider taking actions to immediately reduce the radon levels in your home. Based on your follow-up measurement results:

Residents should take action to reduce levels as far below 200 pCi/l as soon as possible. We recommend that you take action within several weeks. If this is not possible, you should determine, in consultation with appropriate state or local health or radiation protection officials, if you can temporarily relocate until the levels can be reduced. Exposures in this range are among the highest observed in homes.

Remember: There is increasing urgency for taking action at higher concentrations of radon. The higher the radon level in your home, the faster you should take action to reduce your exposure.

Helpful Link:  http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html

Certified Through: http://www.neha-nrpp.org/

If you have any further questions, please give D. Quinn Const., Inc. a call at 406-755-5322 or e-mail david@dquinnconst.com