Radon FAQ

Yes! For most people, radon is their largest source of exposure to radiation. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Studies have shown that three out of every four homes in Colorado test above the EPA actionable level of 4.0 pCi/L.

When radon and its decay products are inhaled into your lungs they emit alpha particles. These alpha particles can strike the sensitive lining of the bronchi. When this happens, the cells in your lungs are damaged, subsequently increasing your risk to radon-related cancer. Most of the alpha particle radiation comes from radon decay products. However, since it is easier to measure radon rather than its decay products, people usually characterize the exposure by the amount of radon in their living spaces.

Radon can seep into a home through dirt floors, cracks and pores in concrete walls and floors, hollow-block walls, joints, drains pipes, and sump pumps. Building supplies made from materials containing uranium are rarely a significant source of residential radon.

There are two general ways to test for radon in your home. One is a short-term test that can be easily found at your local hardware store, online, or you can hire a local home inspector. The second method is a long term radon test which takes anywhere between ninety days to a full year these are generally found online

Picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is a unit for measuring radioactive concentrations. The curie (Ci) unit is the activity of 1 gram of pure radium 226. Pico is a scientific notation term which means 1*10¯’”. Another unit commonly used for radioactive concentrations is the SI unit Becquerels per meter cubed (Bq/m”). A Becquerel is one radioactive disintegration per second.

You must provide the answer to this question based on the following data and your personal risk tolerance. If you lead a normal life, live in spaces that average 4 pCi/L of radon, and if you are: a never smoker an ex-smoker a smoker then your lifetime risk of getting lung cancer that is related to your radon exposure is about 1 chance in 250 1 chance in 100 3 chances in 100 For comparison, substances in the food chain are regulated at levels that produce much lower risks. Usually food or drink is labeled contaminated if they produce a 1 in 100,000 lifetime chance of producing cancer.

Yes, definitely: Often the solution is simple and inexpensive. Choose a qualified radon mitigation contractor to fix your home. Start by checking with your state radon office. Many states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified or registered.

No. You really have to measure the Radon in your house to know for sure. Many things influence the amount of Radon in a home.

The variation in Radon levels from home-to-home comes from a wide variety of factors. Soil composition, foundation structure, and methods of heating and cooling are just a few of the factors that influence Radon accumulation.

Yes. The Radon Map in the upper right corner of this page indicates in red the most severely affected areas.

Not that we know for sure. No other cancers or diseases have yet been positively associated with radon exposure. However, radon is absorbed into the body and can irradiate tissues other than the lung.

Most often, yes. Lung cancer is a disease that has a very poor survival rate. Prevention is the most effective defense. Don’t smoke and don’t breathe elevated concentrations of radon.

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