Radon -- being an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and in all ways utterly impossible to notice using any of the human senses -- is toxic and could be present in your home right now.
The radon levels in a home can be tested and mitigated by MidAmerica Basement Systems, your local radon specialist in Illinois and Iowa. Contact us today for solutions to your home's radon problems.
As a gas, radon can enter any home through cracks, holes, or any other openings. In particular, radon enters homes through a process known as the "stack effect", which practically sucks the gas right into the home.
Since the pressure inside the house is lower than the pressure outside the house, a vacuum is created. As the warm air rises, it makes its way out of the house and is then replaced by unconditioned air from the outside.
This air can then quickly begin to build up, especially when the weather gets cooler and windows (escape routes) are closed. In other words, the radon gets trapped. There could be a lot or a little, which is why every homeowner needs to test for radon and conduct frequent checkups.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and the smaller the number the safer you are. However, even what is considered "small amounts" of radon may not be all that safe. Regardless, most homes can be mitigated and the levels can be lessened to some degree.
As a standard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined 4.0 pCi/L as the "action level" for any indoor environment. This means that a test reading 4.0 pCi/L and above needs to be mitigated and the radon levels need to be immediately reduced.
The EPA estimates .4 pCi/L as the national average for the outdoor air, while 1.5 pCi/L is the national average for the indoor air. Although these averages are seemingly quite low, even this 1.5 pCi/L could be problematic. When this amount is trapped within a home, it's far more concentrated than if it were outside.
The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that radon can be dangerous in any concentration, which is why radon reduction systems are so important. These systems constantly work to lower the radon levels in your home.
"Most radon-induced lung cancers occur from low-and-medium-dose exposures in people's homes. Radon is the second most significant cause of lung cancer after smoking in many countries," said Dr. Maria Neira of the WHO.
Experts at the EPA agree: "We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer," said Tom Kelly, the director of the EPA's Indoor Environments Division.
As long as your home is below 4.0 pCi/L, you should have some peace of mind. However, MidAmerica Basement Systems wants to do everything possible to get the radon levels as low as possible. Contact MidAmerica Basement Systems today for more information.
Maybe 10 pCi/L doesn't sound all that bad, so 4.0 pCi/L can't be a problem at all. In order to understand the number, you have to understand the measuring system. Let's compare some figures.