What Is Radon Gas?
Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as a decay product of radium. It is a Class A carcinogen that is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
The EPA and the Surgeon General's Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon.
Radon comes from the soil, not the home. Each home interacts with the ground beneath it differently. This is part of the reason why homes next door to each other have dramatically different radon levels. The only way to know the level of radon in the home is to have a radon test.
Why Test For Radon?
Radon gas can enter the home through sump pits, plumbing and utility entrances, and small cracks in the foundation. Radon levels will fluctuate daily and seasonally within a reasonable range. Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days, which means that radon levels will not be any greater if the house is closed up for 6 years, 6 months, or 6 days.
What a Radon Test Will Tell You.
The EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. No home, new or old, expensive or modest, is exempt from radon. A short-term radon test is a snapshot and a good indicator of whether or not the home has a radon problem.