The following is taken from A Citizen’s Guide to Radon (The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon).
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your
risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building—homes, offices, and schools—and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy—it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon. Radon reduction systems work and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels. You should fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced.
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Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones in the United States as depicted in the map below. In fact, West Virginia state’s average (6.1 pCi/L) is more than ½ of the action level of 4 pCi/L and Berkeley County, WV’s average (8.1 pCi/L) is twice this action level.
Total Home Inspection Services is able to perform short-term and long-term tests. A short-term test can be completed in as little as 48 hours. There is very little involvement that is needed from a homeowner. Whether you just want to know the radon level in your home or if a test is required for a real-estate transaction, Total Home Inspection Services can help you complete this test. Results will be provided via a written report the same day that the test is completed (if using the Active device like the one shown below). Total Home Inspection Services is proud to use the latest Continuous Radon Monitor from Sun Nuclear Systems, Model 1028-XP. Call Total Home Inspection Services today for a complete, accurate Radon test and put your mind at ease!