What is Radon?
What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas. It comes from the
natural breakdown of uranium in the ground.
Radon moves up through the ground and gets into the home through
cracks, open seams and holes in the foundation.
Radon and its decay products, when inhaled, become lodged in the lungs where
they can radiate the cells lining the respiratory system. Alpha particles emitted
by the radioactive decay products of radon are damaging to the lung tissues.
Exposed to elevated levels of radon greatly enhances the risk of lung cancer.
How to test for Radon:
There are two categories of radon tests, - Short Term tests and Long Term
tests. Short term tests measure radon levels for exposure periods of 2 days
(minimum recommended by EPA and IEMA) to 90 days, depending on the
device used. Short term tests are extremely useful when results are needed
quickly, such as during real estate transactions.
Interpreting the Test Results:
Radon is measured in pico curies per liter (pCi/L). EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) and IEMA (Illinois Emergency management Agency)
recommend that levels at or above 4 pCi/L be reduced through mitigation.
Reducing high levels of Radon:
Indoor radon levels can easily be lowered by installing a radon mitigation system
that collects radon prior to its entry into the home and discharges it safely
outside. This is, however, not a "do-it-yourself" project. Only Illinois Licensed
Mitigation companies should be consulted for this purpose