Radon is among the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States. It is estimated that 22,000 Americans die each year due to radon-related lung cancer. If you smoke or live in a home with high radon levels, you have a higher risk of developing lung cancer. So, radon testing is vital in determining whether you are at risk of high radon exposure.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a gas formed when radioactive metals, such as thorium, radium, or uranium break down in groundwater, soil, and rocks. This poisonous gas then finds its way into your home through gaps or cracks in your house. If you breathe radon gas for long, the radioactive particles are trapped in the lungs, causing lung cancer.
Testing is the only effective radon mitigation method. It is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels. If radon levels are high, then you can take the necessary precautions to lower them.
Radon tests take two main forms:
- Short-Term: This test measures radon levels for about seven days. It is considered a quick and effective way of screening a home for radon. If you are considering testing your home for radon, you should start with the short-term test.
- Long-Term: This test measures radon levels for about 90 days. It is an effective way of estimating the annual average of radon in your home.
If possible, you should undertake a radon test every 2–5 years. You can also perform the test more frequently since radon levels fluctuate based on the following factors:
- Seasonal Changes: As weather patterns change, there are changes in air pressure and temperature levels, significantly affecting radon levels.
- Home Modifications: Major renovations affect the soil beneath your house and ventilation, creating new routes and opportunities for radon to enter your home.
Why Is Regular Radon Testing Essential?
Since radon is odorless and colorless, you can only detect it through testing. If you breathe this gas for a long time, you can get lung cancer. You can conduct a radon test in your home in two ways:
- Do It Yourself: You can purchase a radon test kit, test radon levels, and send the kit to appropriate authorities for interpretation. If the test results are between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L, you should install a radon-reduction system.
- Contract a Private Radon Professional: If you have doubts about how to do it, you should work with radon testing services.
It's hard to determine if you and your loved ones are exposed to high radon levels unless your home is tested. Reach out to radon testing services to learn more.