Why should you consider getting a radon test for your home?
According to the EPA’s 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003) radon is estimated to cause approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year.
Scary stuff, for sure.
And yet, prior to buying a my first home I had never heard of radon.
And I certainly didn’t know what it was, and why I should get my home tested (though I did get the test done)…
So what is radon?
Radon is considered a carcinogenic gas that is hazardous to inhale.
It is the result of the natural breakdown of uranium found in soil, rock and water. The gas typically moves up through the ground — and with respect to your home it can enter in cracks or holes in your foundation.
Radon can also enter your home through well water.
What’s more, you cannot see, smell or taste radon.
That means toxic levels could build up in your home without any signs to indicate whether or not this was happening.
In fact, the accumulation of radon in homes becomes a health concern once the air you breathe reaches a certain level of contamination with radon. Quite simply, when you breathe air containing radon you increase your risk of getting lung cancer.
Both the EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. It was once believed that only homes with basements pose a risk for radon accumulation, however, that myth has been shown to be false.
Any home can have a radon problem
Radon has been found in homes across the United States.
In fact, nearly 1 out of every 15 homes is estimated to have elevated radon levels. This means that all types of homes may have a radon problem, including:
- new and old homes
- well-sealed and drafty homes
- homes with or without basements
Which means it’s possible that your home can trap radon.
The only way to determine your home’s radon levels is by testing.
And the reason why checking the radon levels in your home is so important is because you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure to radon while at home. After all, this is where you spend most of your time each day.
According to EPA recommendations you should:
- Test your home for radon — it’s easy and inexpensive.
- Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter, or pCi/L, or higher.
- Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced.
If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix the problem. Even very high levels of radon can be reduced to acceptable levels.
To schedule radon testing in CT or NY click the link for more information (for other states click the link above for the EPA website).
With more than 18 years of experience with NY and CT home inspection, Compass Inspectors can give you the information you need to make an informed decision on your home purchase. They will always give you a custom report for your home, not a template or watered down information.
For more information and to schedule a home inspection you can visit them online at www.compassinspectors.com, or give them a call at 914-274-1579 today.
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