Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas: Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas released in rock, soil and water from the natural decay of uranium. While levels in outdoor air pose a relatively low threat to human health, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. You can’t see, smell, or taste it, but an elevated radon level in your home may be affecting the health of your family.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the number one cause among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke, and your home has radon, your risk of lung cancer can be higher.
Radon is found all over the United States: Radon has been found in elevated levels in homes in every state. No area of the country is free from risk. Indeed, two homes right next to each other can have vastly different radon levels. Just because your neighbor’s house does not have an elevated level of radon does not mean that your house will have a low radon level. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), a measurement of radioactivity. EPA and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommend that homes with radon levels at 4 pCi/L or higher should be fixed. The only way to know if your home is under the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L is to test. High levels of radon in homes usually come from the surrounding soil. Radon gas enters through cracks and openings, such as sump pump lids and plumbing features on the lower levels of your home. Hot spots include basements, first-floor rooms, and garages, but radon can be found anywhere in your home.
Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. For smokers, the risk of developing lung cancer is dramatically increased when exposed to even moderate concentrations of radon gas. According to the Surgeon General, not enough citizens are aware of the dangers or consider themselves at risk. Over the past decade, the EPA and dozens of other organizations including the American Lung Association have escalated public awareness campaigns to educate both adults and children to the health risks associated with radon gas.
According to the EPA, studies find direct evidence linking radon in home to lung cancer – two studies show definitive evidence of an association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer. Two studies, a North American study and a European study, both combined data from several previous residential studies. These two studies go a step beyond earlier findings. They confirm the radon health risks predicted by occupational studies of underground miner’s who breathed radon for a period of years. Early in the debate about radon-related risks, some researchers questioned whether occupational studies could be used to calculate risks from exposure to radon in the home environment. “These findings effectively end any doubts about the risks to Americans of having radon in their homes,” said Tom Kelly, Director of EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. “We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing even low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.”
You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. Unlike carbon monoxide and many other home pollutants, radon’s adverse health effects, lung cancer, is usually not produced immediately, it occurs over time with frequent exposure to high levels of radon gas.
The EPA has determined that concentrations of more 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/l) represent a serious health risk. The risk of developing lung cancer of 4.0 pCi/l is estimated at about 7 lung cancer deaths per 1000 persons. The EPA has estimated that 1 out of every 15 homes has high exposure of radon. Lung cancer in humans arising from radon exposure is recognized by the following health and environmental organizations:
American Medical Association
U.S. Surgeon General
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Public Health Service
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Center for Disease Control
National Academy of Science
National Cancer Institute
World Health Organization
Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a
radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as an
indirect decay product of uranium or thorium. It’s most stable isotope, 222Rn,
has a half-life of 3.8 days. Radon is one of the densest substances that remain a
gas under normal conditions. It is also the only gas under normal conditions that
has radioactive isotopes, and is considered a health hazard due to its
What we do know is that Radon gas is the decay product of radium which is found
as low concentrations in almost all rock and soil. Radon is generated in rock and
soil, and creeps through cracks or spaces between particles up to the outside air.
Although outdoor concentrations of radon are typically low, about 0.4 picocuries
per liter (pCi/l) of air, it can seep into buildings through foundation cracks or
openings and build up to much higher concentrations.
Radon is considered a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality
worldwide. Radon is an invisible gas, and is thus easily inhaled. Studies have
shown a link between breathing high concentrations of radon and incidence of
lung cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency,
radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking, causing
21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. About 2,900 of these
deaths occur among people who have never smoked. While radon is the second
most frequent cause of lung cancer, it is the number one cause among nonsmokers,
according to EPA estimates.
To obtain an easy-to-use radon test kit, you can
Contact Circle C Consulting, LLC. at 918-246-2186 or e-mail us at
firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a radon test kit.
Purchase a test kit from your local home improvement or hardware store.
Hire Circle C Consulting, LLC. a qualified (certified) radon tester to use a continuous
radon monitor to ensure testing is performed correctly.
If you have questions, please contact Oklahoma DEQ – Keisha Cornelius 405-702-5100
You should test for radon: The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing your home for radon is easy to do. If your home has radon problem, you can take steps to fix it to protect yourself and your family.
Imagine this: A young couple makes an offer on a house with a radon test as a contingency. They choose a home inspector who offers radon testing using charcoal canisters. These are known as passive devices because they work by simply absorbing radon in the air. Their accuracy is generally good and the cost is more affordable.
The owner of the home and his real estate agent both agree to the test and agree that they will not tamper with the charcoal canisters in any way while they’re placed in the home. But after the canisters are placed in the home for the test, the homeowner has second thoughts: “If the house has high radon levels, I’ll have to spend a lot of money to get a radon mitigation system installed. No way!” He then puts a plastic shopping bag over the monitors until the afternoon they’re scheduled to be picked up and sent to a lab for analysis.
Fraud? You bet it is. Unfortunately, it’s more common than you might think. And the sad thing is that families who move into a new home thinking there’s no problem may actually be living in a house with dangerously high radon levels.
Radon Testing With Charcoal Canisters VS Continuous Radon Monitoring Devices
Charcoal Test Kit
* The report provides a pCi/L number
* Test kits are vulnerable to user error. Not placed correctly, Moisture, Not properly sealed.
* Test kits can be tampered with – bucket/plastic bag can be placed over kit. Kit may be moved outside or other room.
* Test kits are not certified for accuracy.
* Test kits are mailed to lab to obtain results. Labs are not required to be certified.
Continuous Radon Monitoring
* The report provides an hour by hour report that shows the level of radon pCi/L
* With the continuous radon monitor, all the issues listed on the above are removed.
* The continuous radon monitor has sensors which will detect and show on report the issues listed on the other side.
* Continuous radon monitors are calibrated every year to ensure accuracy
* Monitor analytical is performed by a certified radon technician.
The cost of making repairs to reduce the radon level depends on several factors, including how your home was built. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs, like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor to mitigate radon levels in a home can range from $1,200.00 to $2,500.00. You can call Oklahoma DEQ for a list of certified migration companies at 405-702-5100.