soils, rock, and water throughout the World. It has numerous different isotopes, but radon-220, and
222 are the most common. Radon is on of the heaviest gases, has a half-life of 3.823 days and emits
alpha particles. Radon causes lung cancer, and is a threat to health because it tends to collect in
homes, sometimes to very high concentrations. As a result, radon is the largest source of exposure to
naturally occurring radiation.
long decay chain for uranium-238. Since uranium is essentially ubiquitous in the earth's crust, radium-
226 and radon-222 are present in almost all rock, soil, and water.
and homes with or without basements. Nearly 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have
elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes across all states and
snapshot and a good indicator of whether or not the home has a radon problem.
in your home. Homes which are next to each other can have different indoor radon levels. While
radon problems may be more common in some areas in the local community or state, any home may
have a problem. Testing your home is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from
radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.
action to reduce indoor radon levels should be taken if the radon test result is 4pCi/L or higher.
A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes. Sealing cracks and other openings
in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. EPA does not recommend
the use of sealing alone to reduce radon because by itself, sealing has not been shown to lower
radon levels significantly or consistently. In most cases systems called "sub-slab Pressurisation
systems" are recommended. These systems prevent radon gas from entering the home from below
the concrete floor and the foundation. Depending on the design of your home and some other
factors a radon reduction contractor may recommend and use other methods to reduce indoor
radon levels. A radon mitigation system costs $800 to $1500 on the average, although this can be
as high as $2500 in some cases.
cases be a small source of risk. Radon gas can enter the home through well water. It can be released
into the air you breathe when water is used for showering and other household uses. Research
suggests that swallowing water with high radon levels may pose risks too, although risks from
swallowing water containing radon are believed to be much lower than those from breathing air
containing radon. Conducting radon water testing is the only way you will know if you're at risk.
While radon in water is not a problem in homes served by most public water supplies, it has been found
in well water. If you've tested the air in your home and found a radon problem, and your water comes
from a well, you should perform a radon water test. Radon test kits are inexpensive and easy to use. If
you're on a public water supply and are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the
water, contact your municipal water department.
Radon problems in water can be readily fixed. The most effective treatment is to remove radon from the
water before it enters the home. This is called point-of-entry treatment. Treatment at your water tap is
called point-of-use treatment. Unfortunately, point-of-use treatment will not reduce most of the inhalation
risk from radon.
by Illinois Licensed Radon Professionals
|CHICAGO ILLINOIS NAPERVILLE