What is Radon?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 by Crystal Bonner

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Do you know what Radon is?

Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that is colorless, tasteless and odorless. It is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water and can be found in all 50 states. The gas seeps up from the ground into buildings through cracks in foundations, basement walls, gaps around service pipes and sump pumps. When it is indoors, the gas becomes trapped and accumulates in the air. Radon levels are usually highest in the basement or crawl space. This level is closest to the soil or rock that is the source of the radon. Small amounts of radon can also be released from the water supply into the air. As the radon moves from the water to air, it can be inhaled.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General’s office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. When you breathe in radon, radioactive particles from radon gas can get trapped in your lungs. Over time, these radioactive particles increase the risk of lung cancer. It may take years before health problems appear. Radon is in the air we breathe, both indoors and out, so it isn’t possible to avoid it completely, but there may be things you can do to lower your exposure.

Radon is measured in picocuries, a common unit for measuring the amount of radioactivity. The EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon in homes that have a radon level at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. If your home has a radon level of 4 picocuries, it is equivalent to smoking half of a pack of cigarettes per day.  Half of that, 2 picocuries, is equivalent to having 100 chest x-rays per year. 

Radon is a health hazard, but there is a simple solution. 

You can easily test your home for radon yourself. Many places sell radon test kits. A quick Google search will help you find one, or we have some that we can sell to you as well. If you learn that your radon level is high, don't panic. A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon levels in your home, such as sealing cracks in floors and walls or increasing ventilation through  pipes and fans. The EPA recommends that you have a qualified contractor, such as 3 Pros Basement Systems, to fix your home because lowering high radon levels requires specific technical knowledge and special skills. Without the proper equipment or technical knowledge, you could actually increase your radon level or create other potential hazards and additional costs. 

If you have concerns about radon in your home, please let us know! Call 3 Pros Basement Systems at 1-844-747-2979 or visit our website

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