What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occuring radioactive gas that you can't see, taste, or smell. It is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is measured in picocurries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency Department of Nuclear Safety (IEMA-DNS) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recommends that action be taken to radon reduce levels if the average is 4pCi/L or higher.
What are the health effects?
Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down further, these particles release small bursts of energy. This can damage your lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. Radon is estimated to cause between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
How do you test for Radon?
The Surgeon General and EPA recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. In real estate transactions Pro Home Radon Measurements will perform a short term test. This test takes a minimum of 48 hours. If the results of this test are 4 pCi/l or higher then mitigation is recommended.
How do you get rid of it?
In Illinois the cost will range from $800 to $1200 to have radon mitigated from your property. Should you have more than one foundation type (i.e. crawl, basement, slab) the cost can increase slightly. The most common type of mitigation is sub slab depressurization. This method involves drilling through the basement/slab floor, connecting pvc piping and an electric air pump and routing it all outside above the gutter line.
This is a near 100% effective system and costs very little to operate. A contractor must be licensed through the IEMA DNS to mitigate radon in Illinois.