Are You Breathing Radon Gas Without Knowing It?

Are you breathing radon gas without knowing it?

What is Radon Gas?

Radon gas is a radioactive gas produced from decaying uranium in the igneous rock below the earth’s surface. Exposure to radon gas over an extended period of time has been linked to some forms of lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have linked over 20,000 cases of lung cancer to elevated radon levels.

Should I be concerned?

Radon is present in all U.S. regions, but areas that have igneous rock layers are especially prone to elevated radon levels. You might see elevated radon levels in homes with basements and wells for water supply.

How do I know if the radon levels in my house are elevated?

Radon test kits can be purchased at a reasonable price through an HVAC contractor or on the Internet. There are short-term and long-term kits available.

Short-term kits typically run through a 30 to 90 day period. The sample is then delivered to the lab for analysis, and the results are sent back to the consumer.

Long-term kits last for an entire year. Long-term testing is often preferred because radon levels can shift as the seasons change whereas a short-term test may not capture the most accurate results.

What do I do if my radon levels are elevated?

Call your local HVAC contractor to have an analysis completed and install a radon mitigation system. These systems are simple, inexpensive and easy to have installed.

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54 thoughts on “Are You Breathing Radon Gas Without Knowing It?

  1. My home was built over the waste of a mill there is a lot of waste from that mill in the grown rags ,wire ,metal ,cinder block ,bricks ,cement ,wood roofing waste and elect wires ? And was tested foe Radon and have high level’s the county knows this and did let it go on what can I do about it I did call some one in to try and get rid the radon to a safe level , but did say it would be a lot of dollars for the clean up I need .I live in Gaston county North Carolina and they say it was ok for them to build on the waste here ? I there any thing I can do to get help form the Gov or State here !!

    • Robert, Sorry to hear about your concern. As far as local or state government support, I cannot shed any light on that. I would suggest that you reach out to your representative and see if they are aware of any programs that could provide assistance.

  2. I have a new home in New Hampshire and the builder left an open pipe 4-1/2” wide that vents directly into our basement utility room from underground. It’s got RADON written in big bold letters on the side of the white piping. The closer your get to the room, the funnier the air smells.

    We just started using the vacation house last fall and never noticed any smell likely because we always had the windows open. After 3 months of travel abroad we went to the house last weekend after it had been sealed up tight all winter… the oder was immediately apparent.

    I think it’s a serious problem and just discovered the open pipe last weekend behind the water heater tank. Can we just cap it? Have s plumber vent it outside? I Don’t want to wait months for testing.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Michael, I would consult your plumber. There is a possibility that the pipe could have been installed for a specific purpose, like a drain for the water heater or furnace. If this drain has a trap built into it and the trap has gone dry- no water running through the drain, you could get a sewer smell.
      Consult your plumber, and they can identify the best solution.

  3. I have a new home in New Hampshire and the builder left an open pipe 4-1/2” wide that vents directly into our basement utility room from underground. It’s got RADON written in big bold letters on the side of the white piping. The closer your get to the room, the funnier the air smells.

    We just started using the vacation house last fall and never noticed any smell likely because we always had the windows open. After 3 months of travel abroad we went to the house last weekend after it had been sealed up tight all winter… the oder was immediately apparent.

    I think it’s a serious problem and just discovered the open pipe last weekend behind the water heater tank. Can we just cap it? Have s plumber vent it outside? I Don’t want to wait months for testing.

  4. I have a crack in the basement floor and wall- older home will a radon kit help to discover the gas. my family has been sick often

  5. i live in a apartment that is old and i have lived here for about 11 years and i have a cough and itchy sratchy throat for a long time i figure it is allergies but maybe it is radon. can you smell it?

    • Radon is a colorless odorless gas, so therefore you cannot see or smell it. The only way to detect radon gas is with an approved test kit.

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