FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Radon and where does it come from?


Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in our environment. It is a noble gas that permeates our air and water. It’s everywhere, all the time, whether in trace amounts or at harmful levels. The soil present in your yard contains Uranium. Uranium consists of radioactive properties, and over time it naturally decays, releasing this radioactivity into the air in the form of Radon gas. Radon within the soil and rocks then migrates through foundations, cracks, and small openings and concentrates inside buildings. This becomes an invisible health threat that cannot be detected by our senses. Depending on where you live, the levels of Radon in your home may not be safe. The US Surgeon General and the EPA recommends that ALL homes be tested for Radon.




How Common Is Radon?


Radon is found everywhere in the environment, is present in all 50 U.S. states, and is a fairly common problem for Missouri. In fact, Radon is common enough to be known as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and according the EPA, nearly 1 in 15 homes have elevated dangerous levels of Radon. In Missouri, those numbers are estimated to be 1 in 5.




What causes Radon to enter a building?


Pressure variations between a building’s foundation and the surrounding soil results in a vacuum-like condition that can ultimately pull Radon gas from the soil and bring it into the home through cracks and small openings in the foundation. When Radon gas seeps into poorly ventilated buildings, it cannot be diluted, and may result in significant levels of accumulation, presenting potential serious health risks to you and your family. Devastating effects, like cancer, can manifest if the Radon levels are not controlled.




How do I know if I have a Radon problem?


Testing is easy and inexpensive. There are short-term tests (about 48 hours) that collect your air quality sample. When we test for you with our continuous Radon monitors, you will likely get results the same day we pickup the monitor. Long-term tests are also available, which gives you a more accurate result of the Radon levels in your home. These tests are usually done over a 90-day period or longer.




How is Radon measured?


Radon is measured in picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/L). While no level of Radon exposure is considered safe, the EPA has set an action level at 4.0 pCi/L If a Radon test in a home shows levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L, action should be taken to fix the Radon health threat.




How do I test for Radon?


We provide fast and easy professional Radon testing with highly sensitive and accurate detailed results. If you would like us to help you with your Radon testing needs, we would be happy to help you. Our testing takes 48 hours and we most often provide you with results the same day as we retrieve the testing monitor. Because rock and soil formations are not uniform and due to the variables in house construction and occupancy patterns, one home can test high and the one next door can test low. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk.




What should I do if my house has elevated Radon levels?


If the Radon levels in your home are high, take the steps necessary to reduce the levels in your home. Radon mitigation can consist of installing an active Radon removal system in your home, fixing any ventilation issues present, and sealing Radon entry routes. Mitigation will reduce Radon levels in your home and prevent Radon from entering your living space.




What factors can influence Radon levels in my home?


How much Uranium/Radium is present in the soil. How porous the soil condition is. House construction, including foundation type: Basement, crawlspace or sub slab on grade. Weather conditions: Temperature, wind, and barometric pressure. Occupant activity.




Can I just seal the cracks in the floors or open windows?


Sealing alone is not a solution, but it is a step in the process of mitigation. Diluting the Radon gas by opening doors and windows may seem like a solution, but it is impractical and would typically only be done until a permanent system can be placed




What if I am buying or selling a house?


Testing for Radon is a common step of real estate transactions. If a Radon problem exists, rest assured that it is fixable. A mitigation system can be custom installed to reduce the unwanted Radon levels.




Why is Radon a threat to your health?


One of the most potent causes of lung cancer could be hiding in your home. There are no early symptoms of Radon exposure. Although it is radioactive, it cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. It’s presence in your home can only be known by testing for it. Unlike carbon monoxide poisoning and inhalation of similar airborne substances, Radon gas symptoms don’t include the quick onset of headaches, dizziness, nausea, or unbearable drowsiness. Radon is a known Class-A carcinogen, meaning it is a cancer-causing agent. According the United States Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the Surgeon General’s Office, an estimated 21,000 fatal cases of lung cancer each year in America alone can be attributed to Radon exposure. It’s the country’s second leading cause of lung cancer, and the primary contributing factor among non-smokers.





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