Radon is a radioactive gas. It is colorless, tasteless, and chemically inert. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much is present. It can enter homes and buildings and when inhaled can pose serious health risk, including risk of lung cancer. Our mitigation service are designed to reduce levels and create a safer indoor environment.

Call us at 513-831-0743 to learn what the radon levels are in your home.

Radon is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. Naturally existing, low levels of uranium occur widely in the Earth’s crust. Radon can be found in all 50 states. Once produced, radon moves through the ground to the air above and some remains below and dissolves in water that collects and under the ground’s surface.

Radon has a half-life of 4 days-half of a given quantity it breaks down every four days. When radon undergoes radioactive decay it emits ionizing radiation in forms of alpha particles. It also produces short lived decay products, often called progeny or daughters, some of which are also radioactive.

Unlike radon, the progeny are not gases and can easily attach to dust and other particles. Those particles can be transported by air and can be breathed into your lungs.

The decay of progeny continues until stable, non-radioactive progeny are formed. Each step in the decay process radiation is released.

The dangers of Radon

Sometime, the term radon is used in a broad sense, referring to radon and its radioactive progeny all at once. When testing measures radiation from progeny, rather radon itself measurements are usually expressed in working level (WL) units. When radiation from radon is measured directly, the amount is usually expressed in picocuries per liter of air. (pCi/L)

Most radon is in the rock and soil under the home. Air pressure in the home and buildings are normally lower than the air pressure under the floor. Cracks in the floors and walls allows radon to be drawn into the home. Once the radon enters the home it gets trapped indoors creating health issues. Crawlspaces with gravel and dirt floors allow greater levels of radon to flow into the home.

Radon can also enter the home through the water system. Well water directly into the home can release radon into the air through showering and doing dishes. Most municipalities have low radon levels in water since they have water in reservoirs that release radon outdoors before it enters your home.

Traces of uranium are sometimes found in building materials. Concrete, brick granite and drywall have the potential to produce radon.

Nearly one out of 15 homes have radon levels considered elevated to the EPA 4-pCi/L or higher. The more time people spend in their homes radon is a health concern.

No. The only way to determine the radon levels in your home is test. Elevated levels have been found in new homes and old homes with stone foundations have shown low levels. Testing is the only way to measure your levels.

A radon mitigation system can reduce the radon levels in your home by drawing a vacuum under the basement floor and venting the radon gas above your roof. Some mitigation systems also help reduce humidity in the home by pulling out moisture from under the slab or moisture from a crawlspace.

High radon levels in the water supply can be reduced by installing a granular activated carbon (GAC) system or an all air aeration system that forces large volumes of air through water. The resulting gases, including radon and VOC’s, are then vented above the roof and no radioactive waste is left behind.

When planning to install a radon reduction system contact a licensed mitigation specialist. Always check the contractor’s license, up to date insurance policy and worker compensation insurance. Normally there are a few options, interior or exterior and different types of fans. Fans can draw from 14 watts to 625 watts. A good plan is designing a system works best and using a fan that draws the least amount of wattage.

EPA recommended this mitigation level in 1986 for several reasons. First, at lower levels (2 pCi/L) measurement devices false negative errors increase threefold, and false positive errors increase twofold. Secondary, mitigation research indicates that elevated levels can be reduced to 4 pCi/L or less 95% of the time. Research shows that 2 pCi/L can be achieved 70% of the time. Further, today’s mitigation technology can reduce levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L most of the time. Finally, the cost benefit analysis performed in 1986 indicate that an action level of 4 pCi/L results in a cost of about $700,000 per lung cancer death saved. If the action level was set at 3 pCi/L the cost would be $1.7 million, and if set at 2 pCi/L the cost would be $2.4 million per lung cancer death saved. EPA states that 4 pCi/L is a recommended action level, yet home owners can further reduce their potential lung cancer risk by mitigating homes that are below 4.0 pCi/L.

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