Do You Know Someone Experiencing Symptoms Related To Radon?
It may take several years or even decades for any radon symptoms to surface². These early signs often include a persistent cough, wheezing and shortness of breath, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, and a lack of appetite, among others². If an individual is a non-smoker, research has explained radon gas exposure could possibly be a leading cause of related symptoms. Smoking and radon exposure are even more likely to cause symptoms related to lung cancer. Because radon symptoms may go undetected for a long period of time, radon testing plays a critical role in potential prevention. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, you should immediately contact a medical professional and test your home for radon. Radon exposure is easily mitigated and even preventable if you know your levels.
What are Radon Symptoms?
While there are no direct symptoms of radon poisoning, over time radon exposure may potentially lead to cell damage in the lungs, making it the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer overall.¹ Perhaps even more distressing is that individuals affected may not even experience radon symptoms for up to 25 years.² The good news is that radon awareness is more prevalent today than ever before. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated each January as National Radon Action Month to help raise awareness surrounding the dangers of radon gas and the importance of testing your property.³
What is Radon Gas And Why Is it Harmful?
Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that becomes concentrated when trapped indoors. It is specifically caused by the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium and radium in soil and rock.⁴ Outdoors, radon is typically not harmful, as it is typically found in lower levels in the atmosphere and even in some water sources. When present indoors, at above recommended levels, it could pose a serious, long-term threat for all occupants of a household or property. Testing for radon is very important since there are no radon symptoms until potentially severe lung damage has occured.
Like carbon monoxide, radon is difficult to detect. According to the EPA, it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. The EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die from radon-caused lung cancer each year, with close to 3,000 deaths among people who have never smoked.³
Regular inhalation of higher than recommended radon gas has been linked to cell damage, which could induce the onset of lung cancer. Radon exposure does not lead to health issues overnight. It may take anywhere from five to twenty-five years for symptoms related to radon exposure to become obvious.²
Ensuring Safety from Radon Symptoms: Testing is the Only Answer
Radon tests are the only way to know if corrective action is necessary for your home, school, or commercial property.⁵ There are various types of tests and detector kits. A screening, such as QuickScreen, is designed to screen your home for a few days giving a quick indicator of radon level concern. Rapidos is more comprehensive and will measure radon levels from 10 to 90 days. The most accurate radon tests are long-term, like Radtrak³ and are designed to test for several months or even up to a year to measure the fluctuations in radon that weather and lifestyle may affect. Tests are usually carried out on the lowest level of the home, such as the basement, where soil and rock decay, producing radon gas, which leaks into the home through foundation cracks and sump pump pits.
To learn more about where to test see Where Should a Radon Test Be Placed?
How to Read a Radon Test
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air, or pCi/L. The EPA strongly encourages corrective action, such as installation of a mitigation system, if radon levels are at or greater than 4.0 pCi/L³. The World Health Organization or WHO, encourages taking corrective action if levels are 2.7 pCi/L⁶. It is estimated that one of every 15 homes has elevated radon levels in the United States, however in some regions, 1 out of 3 homes is the average.⁷ Ultimately, knowing a property's radon level compared to national and international standards empowers the owner to comfortably take action to ensure a safe environment and healthy indoor air quality.
What To Do If You Have A High Radon Level
If testing indicates elevated levels of radon in your home, typically a mitigation system is recommended. Radon reduction practices consist of increasing ventilation in the lower levels, either passively or actively. When performed correctly, these systems can help reduce levels in your home up to 99 percent.³ Professionally installed mitigation systems cost an average of $1,200 to install, but are well worth the investment compared to health problems that could arise as a result of radon poisoning.
Though you may have elevated radon levels detected in your basement does not mean that avoiding the basement area will eliminate any potential exposure. If your HVAC system and return ducts are located in your basement, elevated levels of radon will circulate throughout your home when the heat or air conditioning is powered on. This underscores the importance of testing your property and taking appropriate action if radon gas levels are reported above the recommended safe level.
Contact Radonova for a Test Kit Today
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, colorless radioactive gas that may result in radon symptoms or have long-term health consequences¹. The only way to know if you have elevated radon gas levels is to perform a test. If you have concerns or questions about radon testing view our comparison chart or contact a Radonova radon professional today. Radonova is a world leader in radon measurement. When it comes to the safety of our customers, we make quality our highest priority. We are proud to be recognized by AARST-NRPP, NRSB, C-NRPP, SWEDAC (the Swedish part of the European co-operation for Accreditation) and DNV (Det Norske Veritas).
- “Protect Yourself and Your Family from Radon.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Jan. 2020, www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/protect-home-radon/index.html.
- Radon Poisoning. (2017, August 7). Retrieved February 22, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-home-guide/radon-poisoning#cancer
- Https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-12/documents/2016_consumers_guide_to_radon_reduction.pdf. (n.d.). [Brochure]. Author.
- “What Is Radon Gas? Is It Dangerous?” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 21 Aug. 2019, www.epa.gov/radiation/what-radon-gas-it-dangerous.
- “How Often Should I Test/Retest My Home for Radon?” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 1 Apr. 2019, www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/how-often-should-i-testretest-my-home-radon-0.
- Https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44149/9789241547673_eng.pdf?sequence=1. (n.d.). [Brochure]. Author.
- Https://www.in.gov/isdh/files/RADON_FACT_SHEET_12-20-17_-_Indiana_focusedrevisedbyIB.pdf. (n.d.). [Brochure]. Author.
Short Term Radon Test Kit
10-90 Radon Test Kit
The Rapidos is a short-term radon test that will monitor between 10 to 90 days. This extremely accurate test will take into account all of the daily fluctuations in radon and provide an average concentration.
Long Term Radon Test Kit
90-365 Radon Test Kit
The Radtrak³ is a long-term test that will monitor between 90 days and 1 full year. This extremely accurate test will take into account all of the daily fluctuations in radon levels.