Radon, what is it?
Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless carcinogenic gas that is hazardous to inhale and can lead to lung cancer. Approximately 12% of lung cancer is attributed to radon exposure. An estimated 21,000 people die from radon caused lung cancer each year. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is the second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers. Radon can naturally build up within your home, causing a serious health concern for you and your family.
Radon gas is created from the decay of uranium in the earth. The gas seeps through the ground structure and collects within the home. It is estimated that 1 in every 15 homes has elevated radon levels. However, it is known that the ratio drops to 1 in every 5 homes or lower in areas where there is a known radon risk.
The Surgeon General and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend all homes be tested for radon. The only way to accurately determine its presence is to have a radon test performed by a trained individual with the appropriate testing equipment. Your home is where you spend most of your life; it is the place you are most likely to be exposed to the gas and needs the best protection from such carcinogens. The bottom line is get your home tested as soon as possible.
“My neighbor had a test and theirs was okay. So, I don't need to test my home.”
Not true. Homes next door to each other can read totally different measurements and have varying levels of radon. It is common to have multiple excessive measurements in one area and for one home to have excessive radon while the next door neighbor does not. Therefore, the only way to determine if you have a build-up of radon gas is to have measurements taken. Give us a call to test your home.
“Radon is only an issue in other parts of the country.”
Not true. Excessive measurements have been documented in every state. Again, you must have a radon test performed in the home to determine if you are being exposed to it. Radon levels of 4 pCi/L and above should undergo remediation, per the EPA. Contacting a radon mitigation company for repair is needed if levels are excessive. There are some areas, such as West Salem and South Salem, known to have excessive readings. However, I have found excessive measurements all over the Willamette Valley. You are potentially at risk if you do not know what the radon levels are in your home. Therefore, get your home tested today.
"If I test my home for radon, it will be harder to sell.”
Not true. Having your home tested, prior to selling, can help speed up the sale. Testing takes at least 48 hours to perform and it is recommend that you have radon testing done prior to selling. If you have excessive readings, you can have radon mitigated and provide documentation to the buyer to give them a piece of mind. If the radon testing results show low levels, documentation is still beneficial. You will be able to demonstrate that your home has been tested and that it does not have radon build-up. This is a great selling point that both realtors and sellers and having the results available can help to place the home above their competitors.
“Radon testing is not reliable.”
Not true. When radon testing is performed by a trained individual with the appropriate equipment the results are reliable. That is why as a homeowner, you want to use Building Analyst Group to test your home or future home for radon. We are trained in radon testing and use expert equipment, a continuous sampling machine, to document radon within the structure. The device is small, makes no noise, and is not harmful to individuals. The report is made available immediately following the end of testing to provide you with important information as you make prudent decisions about the purchase of your home.
“Radon only affects certain types of home construction.”
No true. All types of home construction are subject to radon build-up in the home. It does not matter if your home is new or old, has a crawl space or a slab foundation. The geology of the location on which the home was constructed can affect radon levels in the home. As there is no way to see what the geology under the home is, you should have your home sampled for radon gas.
“I have lived in my home forever. There is no need to test for radon.”
Not true. Reducing your exposure to radon lowers the risk of lung cancer, even if you have lived there for a long period of time. Continued exposure will only leave you at even greater risk.
“I have had a radon test done 5 years ago. There is no need to test for it again.”
Not true. It is recommended that you have testing done every two years to assure there have been no changes in radon build-up of your home. This is a recommendation from the EPA.
What to do if your home has elevated radon measurements
After we complete your test, you will have documentation that describes the date, time, duration, and location of the test, what radon levels were measured at that time (if any), and if any attempt was made to tamper with the machine. This document can be mailed or emailed to a radon mitigation contractor, who may suggest a second test. This is dependent on the type of test done. As our testing is done with a continuous air monitor, the mitigation contractors usually do not recommend retesting. Instead, they recommend remediation procedures to reduce the levels below 2pCi/L. Other forms of testing, such as canisters, require you to send them away to be analyzed, then a report prepared and mailed back to you. Additional fees do occur with this kind of test and the results take much longer to get. Our testing procedures and machine are preferred over the canister types because of the detailed information they provide, the fact that the machine is able to determine if it has been tampered with and the results are immediately available. Give us a call to have your home tested.