The EPA suggests that every home should be tested for Radon Gas each time a home is sold, and every two years for home owners.
What is Radon Gas?
Radon Gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. It is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas produced by decomposing uranium in the earth. It rises to the earths surface and escapes into the air. Radon gas is all around us outside our homes, but is diluted by the abundant air in the atmosphere. Because uranium concentrations and soil conditions, vary by geography, radon levels can vary in any neighborhood - even from home to home.
Radon can be problematic to our health when it enters our homes through cracks in slab floors and foundation walls. It accumulates, becoming a health concern. According to the EPA, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
The EPA recommends homes with radon accumulations of 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), or higher be fixed. There are simple solutions for radon mitigation, and even very high levels can be reduced below 4.0 pCi/L.
How is Radon Gas Tested?
There are several types of devices used to measure the level of radon gas in a home, but are generally categorized as Passive Devices or Active Devices.
Passive Devices do not need electrical power to function. These are canisters that contain chemicals that absorb radon in the air. The containers are then sent to a lab for analysis and results.
Active Devices require electrical power to function. These devices detect radon as it passes over a sensor. Test results can typically be issued the day the test has completed.
How Long does a Radon Test Take?
Despite the type of testing device, most short term radon tests take a minimum of 48 hours once placed in the home. Passive devices need to be shipped to a lab, which adds some time to get the results.