Radon QUICK FACTS
Radon gas is colorless, odorless and undetectable human senses, it is none the less the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon gas is created when uranium in the soil a home is built on decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into a home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas and build up over time to dangerous levels.
Radon has been found in homes in all 50 states. Certain areas are more susceptible than others, but no location is immune.(http://www.epa.gov/radon/zonemap.html)
Concentrations of radon-causing materials in the soil can be either natural or man-made. Homes built near historic mining operations may be at higher risk. The only way to tell for sure is to have a home tested.
Proper testing and mitigation, can eliminate radon as a health threat. For more information, visit the EPA web site on radon at http://www.epa.gov/radon.
The EPA has set as the level where corrective action should be taken at 4.0 pCi/L
Radon mitigation can cost between $800 and $2500
A house should be closed up for 12 hours prior to testing, and the test should be set in the lowest livable area of the house. That would be the family room or a bedroom if the house has a basement but not in the mechanical room.
Most certified testers (including us) now use continuous monitors instead of charcoal canisters and the results are available within 48 hours instead of days or weeks.
Radon Facts & Myths
Myth: “Radon is not a problem in Wichita.”
Fact: Radon is found in all counties of Kansas. We find elevated levels (over 4.0 pCi/L) in over 33% of properties tested in the Wichita area.
Myth: “My house is a new or newer home, so I won’t have a radon problem.”
Fact: While the house itself may be new, the issue is the ground the home is built on. Radon enters through cracks and openings in the foundation. The drain tiles that are installed under the slab make an easy entry point through the sump pit.
Myth: “I do not have a basement, so I probably do not have a radon problem.”
Fact: Radon can seep in from anywhere around or under a home, whether your home has a basement, a crawl space or is built on a slab-on-grade. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend radon testing for all types of homes.
Myth: “Two of my neighbors have tested their homes for radon and they do not have high levels, so I probably don’t either.”
Fact: Radon levels can vary considerably from house to house, even on the same street. It is nearly impossible to predict the exact nature of geologic soil deposits and the extent to which soil gasses will seep into and be retained by a specific house. Testing is the ONLY way to know if radon exists in elevated levels in your home.
Myth: Radon is not that big of a deal.
Fact: Radon is a carcinogenic gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, next to smoking. Learn more about Radon gas at: