January is “National Radon Action” month, but you don’t have to wait until this month rolls around to make sure you and your family are safe from this dangerous gas. It’s estimated that 3,000 to 32,000 Americans die from lung cancer annually, caused by exposure to high levels of Radon. The best defense you have is to make sure your home doesn’t contain dangerous levels of this invisible killer. And to do that, you’ll need to know how to test your home for deadly Radon.
Radon is a byproduct of Radium which comes from broken-down Uranium. Radon can be found in small amounts in the soil at many places. Worse concentrations of it, which are deadly, are normally found in places where disintegrated Uranium is plentiful.
Radon can’t be smelled, seen or tasted. It’s a radioactive gas that can sneak into your home without being detected by human senses. This gas can leak into your home from the ground below. It can build up in dead air spaces such as in basements and crawl spaces. Since it’s difficult to detect, the only way to discover it, is to test your home for this deadly Radon.
You can check the yellow pages of your phone book to find sellers of do-it-yourself kits in your area. You can also check the availability at local home supply stores. Or, you can simply perform a search for “Radon testing kits” by using your favorite search engine on the Internet. No matter where you find a kit, just make sure you purchase one that has been approved by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The do-it-yourself kits are quite easy to use and accurate as long as you read and follow the enclosed instructions. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10.00 to $30.00 on the average.
Basically, you’ll fill out some pertinent information on a packet and place a foam filter into it, according to the instructions. Then, you’ll hang the packet in your home at a height where you normally breathe the air. After three days, you’ll remove the foam and seal the packet up without removing the packet from the area that was tested. It’s important that the packet is sealed tightly and that there are no rips or tears in it. Finally, you’ll finish filling out some more information, then it’s time to mail it off to a laboratory for testing. In a few days, you’ll get the results of the test and find out if your home contains a high (dangerous) level of Radon.
If you’d rather not test your home yourself for the deadly Radon gas, you can contact a local professional to do it for you. You can expect to pay an average of $300.00, depending on the area of the country you live in.
To reduce the levels of Radon in your home, you’ll need to hire a professional mitigator. There is also equipment you can buy to do-it-yourself. You can find a list of qualified contractors in your state by performing a search on the Internet. Or, find the equipment you need by performing a similar search.