The Importance of Testing for Radon to Create the Healthiest Home Environment Possible


Radon testing denver

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates that approximately one out of every 15 homes within the country have radon levels that are either equal to or exceed their action levels. Radon, which is a natural radioactive gas, is odorless. Given this, the only way to determine whether or not it is present is through a residential radon testing service.

Radon is known to be a contributing factor in the development of lung cancer. According to estimates from the US EPA and the Surgeon General’s Office, up to 20,000 lung cancer deaths have been attributed to radon every year. When someone is exposed for a long time to a specific level of average radon concentrations, the risk of developing this form of cancer increases. Experts indicate there is a 16% increased risk for every 100 Bq/m.

Since radon is one of the leading causes of death associated with lung cancer, reducing levels to below the US EPA’s action levels may make a difference. Scientists have estimated lung cancer deaths could be reduced by two to four percent, which amounts to approximately 5,000 lives that could be saved.

In order to determine whether or not radon is present, shot and long-term tests are conducted. While it does depend on the type of device being used, short-term detectors will measure radon levels between two to 90 days. Long-term tests, however, will measure average radon concentrations for over 90 days.

In order to mitigate radon, both passive and active systems are used. Indoor radon levels, for example, have been reduced by over 50% with these passive systems. Active systems, such as radon ventilation fans, have demonstrated an ability to further reduce these levels.

When radon is detected beneath a home’s foundation, the US EPA states that sump pumps can be modified for radon mitigation. These pumps, that are used to remove standing water, can be capped and serve a dual purpose. Once modified in this way, they can continue to fulfill their original purpose and hold a radon suction pipe as well.

If a home’s basement is unfinished, the US EPA states there is a greater risk of radon coming into a home through soil rather than water. When it has been determined that there is radon in the soil, it needs to be mitigated prior to finishing a basement. If standing water is present, then a sump pump excavation may be recommended. After the radon levels have been reduced following a sump pump excavation and installation, then the basement can be finished.

Since you want to make sure that your home has the healthiest environment possible, it’s important to contact a local radon testing company to determine whether or not radon is present and at what levels. If you have an unfinished basement, then it would be a good idea to have a sump pump excavation and installation. When radon is present in your home and you require radon mitigation services, this sump pump can be modified as previously mentioned.