The EPA has designated January as "Radon Action Month". This of course is to help raise awarenss of the effrects of Radon. For more information from the EPA click here http://www.epa.gov/radon/nram/.
Radon is a Radioactive Gas
Radon-222 is the decay product of radium-226. Radon-222 and its parent, radium-226, are part of the long decay chain for uranium-238. Since uranium is essentially ubiquitous in the earth's crust, radium-226 and radon-222 are present in almost all rock and all soil and water. Radon is a radioactive element that is part of the radioactive decay chain of naturally occurring uranium in soil. You can't see radon. You can't smell radon and you can't taste radon. Unlike carbon monoxide and many other home pollutants, radon's adverse health effect, lung cancer, is usually not produced immediately. Thus you may be exposed to radon for many years without ever suspecting its presence in your home. The USEPA action level for radon is 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The risk of developing lung cancer at 4.0 pCi/L is estimated at about 7 lung cancer deaths per 1000 persons. That is why USEPA and IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) recommends reducing your radon level if the concentration is 4.0 pCi/L or more. Lung cancer in humans arising from radon exposure is recognized by the following health and environmental organizations:
- American Medical Association
- U.S. Surgeon General
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Public Health Service
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Center for Disease Control
- National Academy of Science
- National Cancer Institute
- World Health Organization
You Should Test for Radon
While scientists can estimate the approximate lung cancer deaths per 1000 people, no single individual's risk can be estimated. Testing is relatively inexpensive, easy and is the only way to know whether you are at risk.
If you are involved in a real estate transaction in Illinois, read the IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) Radon Testing Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions. Radon testing in real estate transactions, which involve multiple parties and financial interests, is unique, and specific testing protocols are required.
Controlling Radon Exposure
Radon reduction techniques are used to stop radon entry and reduce indoor radon concentrations. Hiring a licensed Radon Mitigation Professional is the best way to reduce your indoor radon concentrations.