What is Radon Gas?
Radon (chemical symbol Rn) is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soils, rock, and water throughout the US and the state of Georgia. It is the product of radioactive decay. It has many variations, but radon-220 and radon-222 are the most common isotopes.
Radon is a Threat to Your Health!
Radon gas causes lung cancer. It is a threat to your health because it tends to collect in homes and buildings, sometimes at very high concentrations. As a result, radon is the largest source of exposure to naturally occurring radiation.
How Does Radon Enter a House?
Because homes and buildings typically have a lower air pressure than the surrounding outside air and soil, outside air is literally “sucked” into the home. This is due in part to the effects of exhaust fans working to expel interior air along with warm building air drafting through and out of the house. These mechanical and thermal effects cause outside air, full of radon and other gases, to be drawn into the building. And typically, the replacement air is coming from the soil.
Whenever air enters a building from underneath, any radon present in the underlying soil will most likely enter the building as well. The level of radon is dependent on the soil conditions, which vary around the state of Georgia. Radon also varies from season to season. This is a function of climate and the use of the home by occupants (open windows-closed windows).
Why is Radon Gas a Concern?
Once radon has entered the home, the radioactive decay process does not stop. This causes the radon to decay into other radioactive elements called radon decay products. These decay products are made up of different forms of polonium, lead and bismuth. Unlike radon, which is a gas, the radon decay products produced from radon are solid particles. These particles become suspended in the air when they are formed from the decaying radon gas. These particles are extremely small and cannot be seen. Because they are extremely small particles, radon decay products are easily inhaled and can attach to lung tissue. This ultimately results in a higher risk for lung cancer.
Am I Being Exposed to Radon?
While the threat of radon exposure can be deadly, the good news is that the amount of radon in your house can be measured and if required, reduced to safe levels. A simple radon testing kit and 48 hours is all you need.
Test Your Home Today
Forty eight hours is the minimum duration for any radon test. The tests are used to determine the potential of a home having elevated levels of radon, independently of how the house is operated. The tests involve closing all windows and doors, except for normal exit and entry, and testing on the lowest livable location in the home. This technique has become the primary method for testing homes, especially for real estate transactions. The results of the test will determine the need for any radon remediation.