Radon Measurement

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Carcinogenic effects of Radon Gas

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer worldwide after cigarette smoking, with passive smoking being the third.

If you smoke or live in a home with high radon levels, you increase your risk of developing lung cancer exponentially.

Since radon gas is odorless and has no color, it can only be detected by having your home tested for elevated levels of radon using a Certified Radom Measurement Technician is recommended and required for a real estate transaction. This is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure.

What Is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally from the radioactive decay chain of uranium, an element found extensively throughout the world, above and below ground. People are exposed to the harmful effects of radon, primarily from breathing radon in the air as it attaches to small particles such as dust that are breathed into the lungs and then undergo the next radioactive decay event, within the lungs. Releasing DNA destroying Alpha Particle directly into the soft tissue of the internal organs.

Radon: Quick Facts:

  • Radon Gas enters the home primarily through cracks and gaps in the foundations of homes, it can even permeate concrete, but can also be easily mitigated if discovered.
  • As radon comes naturally from the earth, people are always exposed to it.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General’s office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S.
  • When you breathe in radon gas, as it decays it can emit Alpha particles into your lungs. Over time, these radioactive exposures increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • It may take years before health problems appear.
  • People who smoke and are exposed to radon are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.
  • The EPA recommends considering taking action to mitigate Radon levels for a home with a reading between 2-4 picocuries per liter (Pci/L) and to proactively take action to mitigate radon in homes that have a radon level at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air (a “picocurie” is a common unit for measuring the amount of radioactivity).

Will I Get Lung Cancer?

Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on:

  • How much radon is in your home.
  • The location where you spend most of your time (e.g., the main living and sleeping areas).
  • The amount of time you spend in your home.
  • Whether you are a smoker or have ever smoked.
  • Whether you burn wood, coal, or other substances that add particles to the indoor air.

To be clear, the chances of getting lung cancer are higher if your home has elevated radon levels and you smoke or burn fuels that increase indoor particles that the radon can attach to and you breathe them in.

The CDC’s Radon Communication Toolkit is designed for environmental and public health professionals to use to increase awareness and understanding of radon, its health effects, and the importance of testing for radon among the communities they serve. The toolkit contains customizable fact sheets, infographics, newsletter articles, and social media posts.

Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are exposed to high levels of radon.

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