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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Radon

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By Author: Hector Castaneda
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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Radon

Radon is an odorless, tasteless radioactive gas which is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. According to the Surgeon General, radon in the United States ranks second to smoking as a cause of lung cancer. This should give you an idea about why radon testing in Boulder, CO is important. The results of testing suggest that children, possibly due to higher respiratory rates and rapid cell division, are more susceptible to radiation damage from radon exposure.
Radon is a single atom gas, meaning it easily penetrates through a wide variety of common materials. Low density plastic used to make plastic bags, leather, paper, many building materials like concrete blocks, gypsum board and mortar, wood paneling, and most paints and insulations, to name a few. Radon is water soluble and its isotopes readily attach to airborne materials. This makes radon extremely easy to inhale.

Where is radon found?

Radon is present in every area of the United States in varying degrees. The highest average concentration is in Iowa. High concentrations of radon are found in springs and groundwater causing it to be found accumulating in the basements of homes, often. Radon can filter through cracks in walls, construction joints and solid floors. Additionally, it can edge through gaps surrounding service pipes, gaps in suspended floors, through water supplies and wall cavities. Strangely enough, radon concentrations in adjacent rooms can be significantly different.

How are Humans Exposed to Radon?

Human exposure to radon is largely due to ingestion and inhalation. Radon from the ground, in building materials, and in groundwater penetrates into living and work spaces breaking up into decaying particles. While radon in groundwater contributes greatly to exposure by ingestion, inhalation of the gas is a far greater concern as it breaks free from water. Even more troubling is exposure to humans who work in places where radon levels are high such as, in the confined air spaces of radon-affected buildings and mines.

What Protective Steps can be Taken?

The only way to determine the radon level in your home is by testing. It is estimated that 1 in 5 American homes have elevated radon levels. The Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend a radon test for every home below the third floor.

How do I Test My Home for Radon?

The quickest way is to do a short-term test is with a "do-it-yourself" kit. These are available in many retail outlets. Alternatively and more effectively, you could hire a state-certified, or EPA qualified radon tester. A long-term test is more reliable and will give you an average round-the-year level. Radon levels can vary on a daily basis or from one season to the next.

What are the Average Radon Levels in the State of Colorado?

Levels range from moderate to high over most of the state. Some counties record 2 to 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) while the national average is around 1.3pCi/l. The rest of the counties exceed the acceptable maximum limit of 4pCi/l, as determined by the EPA.

What steps can I take if the radon level in my home is high?

Radon mitigation in Boulder, Aurora and Denver, Co homes are your answer. There are many reliable basement and foundation companies that are certified radon testers and can provide cost effective mitigation as well.

Complete Basement Systems of Colorado is certified to provide accurate and EPA certified radon testing and mitigation for your home. Visit them today for an estimate

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