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. I bought a home in 2017 which the Radon was high and needed a mitigation system. After 2 sites were put in the Radon still reads 5.4 and they want to put in 2 more sites.
    I hear about houses being Radon money pits.

    • I am not sure what you mean by Sites. Common places Radon enters the home are through sump pumps pits, cracks in basement or garage floors, floor drains, and wells. I would recommend narrowing down and testing specific areas to determine where the actual issue is.

    • You can purchase a test kit from most local hardware stores. There are a couple different tests you can get regarding length of testing period. To get a more accurate reading, the year long test is recommended. If you are looking for quick results, a 90 day test can be conducted.

  2. Interesting facts on radon I found at a Home Improvement show in So. Mo. A county inspector mentioned radon gas from earth seepage from Uranium decay. There are test kits out. Preventative measure still researching. Hi metro area or agriculture areas are more prone to discoveries.

  3. Can radon gas come in thru your water if we have a well? If so how dangerous is
    it to our health? We have a radon ground fan in our sump pump system already.
    Should we be concerned?

    • Radon gas can and is often found in well water systems. However, the level of exposure is significantly lower than air borne exposure. There are very few related cases of stomach cancer from ingesting radon through water systems, and these results are not with high confidence of direct relation to radon gas exposure.
      Radon gas in water systems becomes airborne during showers, dish washing, laundry, and other forms of running water. Radon mitigation systems can be installed for water systems as well. These systems typically involve a carbon filter system that will remove the radon from the water.
      There are tests that can be completed through water sampling, but are much more critical than air sampling for radon. If you are concerned about radon levels in your water, you will have to locate a laboratory that does radon testing in water samples.

  4. If wanting to purchase property where radon is known to be active what is recommended? How and what precautions are available for new home owners when looking? Can a law be established requiring homes on the market to be placed in some type of quarantine to protect buyers?

    • If the buyer of the home has a concern about radon gas, a test should be requested and completed before the house is purchased.
      If a person is building a house and has concerns of radon gas, drainage and mitigation systems could be incorporated in the design of the home to reduce the potential for radon exposure.

  5. Since moving into our recently bought home my hair and my husbands hair has been falling out no change in shampoos or conditioners cause this bee sign of radine?

    • Symptoms of radon gas exposure are usually in the form of respiratory distress- persistent coughing, scratchy throat, and over many years of exposure could lead to lung cancer. In all the research I have done, I have not seen one case where hair loss was connected with radon gas exposure.

  6. Our house is built on a concrete slab. When it rains a lot, there are some places close to the house that takes a while to dry up and it’s seem like it is very close to the slab. Would there be a chance of Radon Gas around the concrete slab or in our house?

    • I have the exact same problem in Bullhead city Arizona. I have been trying to figure it out for a long time to no avail. Let me know if you find out why it’s happening.

    • Symptoms of radon gas exposure are similar to common respiratory infections. The effects of radon exposure usually occur over a long period of time. For example: if you have high levels of radon in your basement and you go downstairs. You are not going to notice a cough or shortness of breath. Over years you may notice respiratory problems and eventually lung cancer.

    • Radon levels vary across the country and world. The only way to be sure if radon is present or not is to test for it.

    • I live by the Mississippi, my house I bought 2 years ago,is 130 years old, cellar has part dirt part concrete where gas and water tanks are. The cellar is all River rock,the property had 2 wells that have been sealed, however my neighbor still uses hers for yard water. Am I at risk?

      • The only way you can verify if you are at risk is to have the radon test performed. There are a variety of tests, but the annual (year long) test is going to be the most accurate. Radon levels will vary with the seasons.

    • There are 2 levels to reference. The EPA recommends a level of 4.0 to have action taken to reduce. The World Health Organization recommends a lower level of 2.7 for action to be taken.

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