What is Radon? Do I need to test for it?
January is National Radon Action Month.
Radon is a colorless, extremely toxic radioactive gas. It is found in almost all solid rock, soil and water, though at varying levels. It's formed by the ongoing decay of Uranium.
It's naturally occurring and can enter and build up in your home without you being aware of it. The radon that escapes into the atmosphere is not harmful but too much in your home can cause major health problems. The radon is measured by picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The average home has about 1.3 pCi/L and the average outdoor air has .4 pCi/L. The EPA recommends fixing the air at levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L where WHO, the World's Health Organization recommends that levels be below 2.7 pCi/L.
How do you reduce the levels of Radon in your Home? Mitigation methods can vary from improving ventilation in your crawl space to mechanically pumping the air out of a basement.
Radon in Tennessee can be seen on this map of Tennessee that shows the counties and their tendency to have certain levels of Radon:
What do the Colors mean?
The Red is Zone 1 - These Counties have the highest potential with numbers at 4 pCi/L or greater.
The Orange is Zone 2 - These Counties have moderate potential with numbers between 2 and 4 pCi/L.
The Yellow, Zone 3 - would be those with the least potential. Typically at 2 pCi/L or less.
The first step is to have a radon test. Most Home Inspectors perform these tests. Ask your local Realtor for some names of Home Inspectors. Radon in Tennessee information is available at:
To see your state showing the radon in the different counties visit the Map of Radon Zones.