What is Radon?
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust. Radon is a product of the decay of uranium. The decay of uranium to lead is a 14-step process. Radon is formed at the sixth step. It is unique because it is the first decay product that is a gas, not a solid.
Why is it a concern?
The radon gas itself is not a problem but its decay products are. The radioactive decay products are particles that can attach themselves to lung tissue when radon gas is inhaled. It is primarily the alpha radiation that causes lung cancer. In the United States, it is estimated that over 20,000 deaths are caused every year by radon gas. As with cigarette smoking, the risk is higher with greater exposure. The effects are long term rather than immediate.
* EPA Health Risks associated with Radon
Where is it found?
Uranium is present in many parts of the earth’s crust. Areas subject to high radon gas levels have appreciable concentrations of uranium in the earth & cracks or porous soils through which the gas can migrate up to the surface.
How it gets into houses
Radon escaping into the air is not a problem, since it is diluted quickly.In Buildings, however, radon gas can be trapped, particularly during winter months, when doors & windows are kept closed & ventilation is at a minimum. It is difficult predict which buildings will have a problem.
Radon enters the building through cracks in basement floors and walls, openings around pipes and electrical services into the basement, through water supplies, and through basement floor drains, for example. Even in areas with high concentrations in the earth, one building may have very high radon levels and a similar building across the street may have very low levels.
Secure Home Inspection uses E-PERM® technology. This is the most accurate technology in the industry and provides the most accurate results possible.
E-Perm testing consists of 2 separate E-PERM® chambers used simultaneously. The test kit does not emit anything and the occupants can live as they normally would, with the exception of the Closed House Condition protocol.
Closed house conditions
For the short-term radon test – a radon test conducted for at least 48 hours and less than 90 days – Closed House Conditions are to be observed, which consists of the following:
For at least 12 hours prior to the start of the test
and for the entire duration of the test:
- All exterior windows for the entire house are to remain closed.
- All exterior doors for the entire house are to remain closed except for normal entry and exit – do not prop doors open.