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Is Radon Something You Must Worry About?

Home radon testing is something that every family should consider doing. If you're not sure how to deal with radon testing, there are professionals who can handle the work for you.

What Is Radon?

When nuclear materials break down, radioactive gas is emitted. Most of the pockets of radioactive gas worldwide are trapped in the ground, alongside naturally occurring deposits of uranium. Occasionally, a pocket will appear close enough to the surface for the gas to leak out through cracks and holes.

If your house happens to be located on top of one of these pockets, it's at great risk. Even if the pocket was previously unreleased, construction activity can unwittingly break into them. Likewise, activities such as heavy vibrations from equipment, vehicles, and earthquakes also risk opening up these pockets of radioactive gas.

Why Is Radon Testing Important?

Radon in a house is a driver of potential health risks. In fact, radon gas is the #2 cause of lung cancer in America after tobacco smoking. Worse, people who've been exposed to radon don't generally become symptomatic until the cancer has progressed. In other words, home radon testing is something that needs to be done so you can get out in front of the health risks by years.

In addition to gas moving directly into homes, water also poses a threat. If you have well water, bringing the water into the house may be the equivalent of importing the radioactivity.

How Much Radon Is Dangerous?

The unit of measure for the presence of radon gas is the pCi,. The Curie is a unit of radioactive decay named for two of the original three co-discoverers of radiation, Marie and Pierre Curie. Marie eventually died from her exposure to radiation.

America's EPA considers a reading of 4 pCi per liter of air to be the limit for mitigation action. This means significant work will have to be done to fix the house and reduce the radioactivity to safe levels. Note that the World Health Organization uses a lower threshold of 2.7 pCi per liter.

Will You Need to Mitigate?

Only 6% of households that are tested will require mitigation work. If the source of the radon is outside, such as well water, the solution will likely include cutting off the source. You'll also need to install a radon detector to ensure that mitigation results remain consistent over time.

Contact a company that offers radon testing services in your area to learn more.