How to Take Action Against Radon in Your Home
Have you ever tested your home for radon? When? It’s important to be diligent about testing your home for radon and taking measures to reduce exposure. This post discusses how you can protect you and your family from this insidious toxin.
The truth is that radon is extremely dangerous and often difficult to identify due its undetectable nature. Radon has no smell or, taste, and there is no way to see it. It is responsible for ~21,000 deaths per year as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking is known to cause more lung cancer deaths.
Radon comes from the breakdown of uranium soil, rock and water and gets into the air we breathe. Any type of building is susceptible to radon including homes, offices and schools. Research has indicated that individuals spend about 90% of their time indoors as opposed to outdoors. Because of the amount of time you spend in your home, it is where you and your family are likely to get the greatest exposure.
Here are our top tips to help you reduce your exposure to radon and take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of you and your family.
- Test your home: Both the EPA and Surgeon General have listed testing your home for levels of radon as the number one step to take in order to keep yourself safe from exposure.
- Re-test your home: Your home and environment are constantly changing so periodic testing is also recommended. Cracks in floors and walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors or around service pipes, cavities inside walls and your water supply can all allow cancer-causing radon in so it’s important to test before and/or after renovations. Other factors to consider are seasonal changes, the earth settling beneath your home, ventilation changes, and occurrence of natural disasters.
- Invest in radon reduction systems: If your home does test for radon, there are radon reduction systems on the market that can help. The EPA says these systems can reduce levels of radon in your home up to 99 percent by using a vent pipe and fan to pull radon from beneath your house and, vent it outside.
- Build with radon resistant features: Building a new home or planning on doing some renovations? There are several radon resistant features that can be built into your home to minimize future issues. Simple steps can make a huge difference down the line for your family’s health:
- Gravel: Use a layer of clean, coarse gravel below the foundation to allow soil gases to circulate freely without infiltrating your home.
- Plastic sheeting: Adhere heavy-duty plastic sheeting over the gravel layer beneath the foundation to ensure that radon doesn’t seep through any cracks in the foundation.
- Vent pipe: Run a solid PVC pipe vertically from the gravel layer through the house’s conditioned space to vent outside.
- Sealing and caulking: Be sure to seal any openings, cracks or crevices that have developed in the foundation and walls to further prevent gases from entering the home.
January is a great time to take action against radon in your home. Protect your long-term health by testing for radon today and consider future testing as your living patterns, seasons and the environment changes.
See how our yogi IAQ and water quality assessment kit can provide peace of mind today!