If you’re an owner of a residential or commercial building it’s important to prioritize radon testing. Radon testing isn’t just important for homeowners. It’s equally important for businesses, school campuses, healthcare facilities, and anywhere else that people spend large quantities of time indoors.
Why is the need for radon testing so widespread? Because exposure to radon can be deadly.
While it’s widely suspected that radon can cause other types of cancer in humans, it’s only been confirmed that it can cause lung cancer. Radon is the number one environmental cause of deaths from cancer in America. With approximately 21,000 people dying from radon-induced lung cancer in the United States every year, only smoking causes more cases of lung cancer in this country on an annual basis.
Where Does Radon Come From?
With such deadly potential consequences, you may think that radon is the result of some science experiment that went awry, but it isn’t. Instead, radon is a naturally occurring gas that is radioactive. Radon is the result of the decay of radium, which comes from the breakdown of uranium. With both radium and uranium often found in rocks and soil throughout the nation, radon is pretty much everywhere.
When you’re outside, radon is typically not a threat to your health. When radon gets inside a building, things change. With residential and commercial structures being built on top of rocks and soil, radon seeping into a building is always a possibility.
Radon moves from the ground into the air, which makes it possible for the gas to enter a structure through cracks. With more people trying to conserve energy by caulking and insulating their homes and businesses, radon often has no way to exit a structure once it’s inside.
When trapped inside, radon decays into dangerous solids known as “radon progeny.” If you breathe these particles in, they can harm your lung tissue and cause cancer.
Types of Radon Tests
Because radon is both colorless and odorless, the only way you can detect its presence in your home or workplace is by testing for it.
Passive Radon Tests
Generally small and lightweight, these types of tests do not require any power to operate. The main drawback is that they need to be sent away to a lab for analysis. You have some options when it comes to radon testing if you want to do it yourself. Here are a few of them:
- Charcoal: This is a short-term solution for radon testing. You can order a charcoal kit and hang your charcoal packet on the first floor of your home or business a few feet above the floor. The packet will collect radon particles as it hangs in your space. After the amount of time prescribed in the kit’s instructions, you’ll send the charcoal back to its manufacturer. The company will then analyze the radon levels captured by the charcoal and share the results with you.
- Alpha-Track: This is a longer-term solution for testing than charcoal. Instead of using charcoal to collect radon particles, this option uses a plastic strip. You’ll send your plastic strip in after it hangs in your space for a pre-set period of time and you’ll get your results after the strip has been examined in a lab.
Active Continuous Radon Tests
If you need a more powerful option, consider a continuous radon monitor (CRM) that will actively monitor radon. A CRM gets it power from batteries or a standard AC wall outlet.
Advantages of doing a continuous radon monitor test:
- Offers the ability to see the current radon level as well as the long term average radon level on a digital readout.
- Includes other environmental sensors so parameters like ambient temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity can simultaneously be measured.
- Measurement data can be collected and stored. Reports can also be generated regularly based on the data.
Why You Should Hire a Professional
While it may be tempting to test for radon on your own, there’s really no reason to since the stakes are so high. we recommend using continuous radon monitors as they provide more detailed data regularly. CRMs, however, do require a trained, skilled operator. Professional grade CRMs are also expensive for an individual to purchase and require regular calibration. That’s why you should contact Inspecta-Homes to learn about our reliable radon testing services and schedule a test for your home now.