No waiting for mail-in laboratory results. Our report is printed on the job site with our printer. The hourly results are printed on a report showing overall and EPA protocol averages.
The explanations of these averages are on your report followed by Bar Graphs, starting and ending dates, and the number of hours tested. This information is then attached to a one-page report with additional explanations.
All equipment used is from Sun Nuclear and are tamper evident. If the equipment is moved, a “T” for tampering will print on the tape and show the hour it was tampered with; also a “P” for power failure. The Monitor has a battery backup that will keep the unit working for 20 hours in the event of a power failure.
What You Should Know About Radon
How Radon Enters A Home
Source: Radon is a gas that is constantly being created from the decay of naturally occurring uranium and radium in the soil. Radon that is created in the soil can find its way to the surface and either enter the atmosphere or your home.
Pathways: As a gas, radon acts just as air does. It freely moves through the open spaces in the soil. These open spaces can be as small as the space between individual particles of dirt in the soil. The larger the particle size of the soil the larger the open spaces will be (e.g. gravel versus sand) and therefore it will be easier for radon to move up through the soil. These open spaces provide the pathways for radon to move from its source in the ground (the natural deposits of radium) and into your home. Pathways for radon migration into your home may be through the soil below or through cracks and crevices in the soil. Piping trenches and drainage systems that were installed during your home's construction can also be entry pathways.
House Vacuum: To make matters worse, your home creates a vacuum on the soil beneath it and virtually sucks the radon out from the soil along with other soil gases.
What is Radon
For billions of years, a very common type of uranium has been gradually changing into radon gas. The uranium, which is found in small amounts everywhere in the soil beneath our houses, does not move out of the soil. (See picture). However, the uranium changes into radon gas, which is free to move up out of the soil and into the air above. When the radon makes its way into the outdoor air, it mixes with the vast amount of fresh air in the atmosphere and is usually diluted to relatively low levels. However, when the radon enters your house through the basement floor, crawl space or slab flooring, it can build up inside your house to levels far in excess of that found outdoors.
The occupants of a home with elevated levels of radon will breathe the radon gas. But, believe it or not, breathing radon is not the main concern. The real culprit of the “Radon Story” are the small particles created by radon as it continues to radioactively change. These radon decay products are continuously produced by the radon in the air inside the home. It is these radon decay products that cause the damaging health effects when breathed in.
How does radon decay products cause lung cancer?
The radon decay products are very small particles. Since they are made in the air inside the home they tend to float in the air and can be breathed into the lungs. Many of the radon decay products then stick on the walls of the air passages leading to the lungs and to the lung tissue itself.
Two of these radon decay products are especially troublesome: polonium 218 and polonium 214. It happens that these two particles release a high speed particle called an alpha particle. When this alpha particle, which is a small atomic “bullet”, strikes lung cells, the cells can be damaged. The damaged cells, in turn, may become changed in a way that can eventually turn them into cancerous cells.
At present, the only known hazard from breathing radon (or actually, the decay products of radon) is an increased potential of developing lung cancer. No other health effect has been directly traced to radon, although lung cancer is bad enough. There is no current evidence that breathing radon causes asthma, allergies, colds, flu or other respiratory illnesses.
Why should you reduce the radon in your home?
Radon is ranked as a “Group A” carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means that it is known to cause cancer in humans. At the present time, the only known health hazard coming from breathing radon decay products is lung cancer. As you would suspect, the higher the concentration of radon (and radon decay products) in your home, the greater is your risk of developing lung cancer by breathing the air in your home.
Remember, any level of radon presents some risk and reducing relatively low levels of radon will provide a benefit. It is possible to lower radon levels to below 1 or 2 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). This would significantly reduce radon as a concern for your home. Another way of thinking is to ask ourselves the questions: “How much radiation would I or my family like to be exposed to?” If the answer is none, then you already understand the benefit of reducing radon in your home.
Who says radon is a health hazard?
The US Environmental Protection Agency says in A Citizens Guide to Radon you should fix your home if your radon level is 4 pico Curies per liter or higher.
The US Surgeon General Health Advisory states: “Indoor radon gas is a national health problem. Radon causes thousands of deaths each year. Millions of homes have elevated radon levels. Homes should be tested for radon. When elevated levels are confirmed, the problem should be corrected.”
From Radon: A Physicians Guide, the American Medical Association writes regarding the evidence of radon health risks...“Epidemiological studies of thousands of uranium and other underground miners have been carried out over more than 50 years in five nations including the US and Canada. These studies provide convincing evidence that exposures to radon and its decay products are associated with an increase in lung cancer mortality. The risk of lung cancer is directly proportional to the level and duration of exposure. For example in one study, miners with cumulative exposures of 30 WLM (one WLM is equivalent to an average exposure of 200 pCi/L for 170 hours) had an increased mortality from lung cancer. Similar exposures might result from people living in homes with average radon levels of 4 pCi/L for about 40 years, assuming 75% occupancy. In addition to the mine data, radon and its decay products in experimental animals cause lung cancer.”
The conclusion that radon is a serious risk is supported by several other respected organizations, such as:
- The American Lung Association
- The National Academy of Sciences
- The World Heath Organization
- The National Council on Radiation Protection
- The National Environmental Health Association
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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