After two reports from friends in a neighboring county about radon, I decided research it and then test my own home.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a radio-active gas that you can not see, smell or taste. Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium. It is a single atom gas that can penetrate through most materials.
Some radon in your environment is normal and acceptable, but too much is not good at all. Screening levels over 4pCi/L require action. According to Radon.com, “An elementary school student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/l of radon will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant.(25 mrem limit, 200 mrem exposure).”
Testing for radon is very easy. You can pick up a simple test at your local home improvement store for about $10. The test will need to sit, undisturbed for 48 hours. The test is then mailed to the testing facility and you await your results. I chose to pay a little extra and send mine via Priority Mail. I sent the test on Wednesday and had the results in my email inbox on Friday! That was quick. The average outdoor concentration is 0.4pCi/L, indoor is 1.3pCi/L, our home tested at 1.8pCi/L.
After viewing a radon map, I see that the neighboring county does have higher levels of radon than our county. I would guess due to the nuclear plant. At any rate, I’m happy to know that I don’t have to worry about radon for now. It is something I might consider testing for again in the future, if we remain here for an extended time.