What is a radon gas test, and why do I need it?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It has no color, odor, or taste and it’s a carcinogen. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much is present in the air you breathe. Nebraska has the 4th highest levels of radon in the nation, Iowa is number 1.
Radon is a Class A carcinogen, which means it is known to cause cancer in humans. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, resulting in approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancers. If you smoke and are exposed to elevated radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is increased exponentially.
Radon is formed by the natural radioactive decay of Uranium in rock, soil, and water. Low levels of uranium occur naturally in the earth’s crust and can be found in all 50 states. The geology of an area typically determines the concentrations of Radon Found. The U.S. EPA has documented the radon potential of Montana and unfortunately has determined that almost the entire state is in Zone 1, the highest potential of predicted average indoor radon levels – greater than 4 pCi/L.
Most indoor radon comes from the soil or rock beneath the building. When radon rises through the soil, it gets trapped under the building and builds up pressure. It then moves into the home via cracks in the foundation, openings around sump pits, cavities in walls, joints, gaps around utility pipes/wires, crawlspaces, etc.
Your health risk is determined by the amount of time you are exposed to an elevated Radon concentration. The EPA recommends that all homes be mitigated below 4 pCi/L, but risk exists at any level.
Doing a radon test can help give peace of mind to the home buying experience! If elevated levels are detected, there’s almost always a simple and effective solution, have a mitigation system installed. These commonly range from $800-1200 based on makeup of home, how the system has to be installed and the levels of radon detected.
In the Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa homes we have tested, over 50% of the homes are above the recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L that the EPA has established.
- We run the test for a minimum of 48 hours
- The test must be performed under closer house conditions.
- Need access to the lowest level of the home to set up and perform the test.
Have questions about radon? Call us at 402.506.5711!
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