National Radon Month - Test Your Home For Radon
January has been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as National Radon Action Month. This annual educational campaign is aimed at raising awareness to radon gas, the associated health risks, and the importance of testing and radon mitigation. Radon systems in Pennsylvania are fairly common; a large portion of the state is categorized by the EPA as having high potential levels of radon gas in residential homes.
Would you send your child out on a hot sunny day in July without sunscreen? Of course not! But do you know if you and your family are being exposed to the second largest cause of lung cancer right in your home? If you haven’t tested for radon, you don’t! If you have tested, had a high level and not had a radon mitigation system installated, then that is the same as ignoring the dangerous UV rays of the sun.
Radon is recognized as the number one cause of non-smoking related lung cancer. It is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths nationwide each year. However, it is a health risk that no one has to live with. Radon mitigation systems, installed by certified professionals, are specifically designed for radon remediation and are highly effective in reducing residential radon to safe levels.
Radon has been found in Pennsylvania in all 67 counties. The PA Department of Environmental protection estimates that 40% of all homes contain unsafe levels of radon gas. Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas. There is no way to know you are living with dangerous levels of gas unless you test your home. If your home tests positive, then you will need to install a radon mitigation system.
The importance of radon testing was recently recognized when several homes in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania were found to have excessive levels of radon between 2,100 and 3,700 PCi/L (picocuries/liter). The EPA and the US Surgeon General advise that homes with levels above 4 pCi/L have a radon mitigation system installed. This clearly illustrates the importance of radon testing. These homeowners would not have known they were living with excessive concentrations of radon without conducting a test. Living with elevated levels of radon is a known lung cancer risk. The EPA estimates that living with a radon level of 15PCi/L is a cancer risk equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes a day.
We all live with plenty of health concerns. Radon is a health risk that is easy to eliminate by installing a radon mitigation system. To insure the safety of yourself and your family, take action during Radon Action Month and conduct a radon test. Do-it-yourself tests are readily available, quick and easy to use and a highly accurate way to determine if you are exposed to radon in your home. Radon levels in a home fluctuate with the seasons and tend to be highest in the winter. This makes winter the best time to test to ensure that your family is protected year round.
If you find the radon in your home registers above 4.0 PCi/L then radon mitigation is recommended. Be sure to consult with a radon professional, licensed with the Department of Environmental Protection. Your test results will help to determine the proper design of your radon mitigation system. The cost (typically $700 - $1,200) is minimal when compared to the impact of a cancer diagnosis.
Radon mitigation system installation is generally straightforward and can be done in 3-4 hours. Be sure to only hire a PA certifiedradon contractor.Radon systems in Pennsylvania and radon mitigation system installation is regulated by the DEP. It is illegal in PA for a non-certified individual to charge for radon mitigation. Only by hiring a certified, licensed radon contractor will you be able to be confident that the radon mitigation system installation meets code and is operating correctly.