Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring radioactive gas.
Radon seeps through cracks in walls and floors of your home. The gas is then inhaled into your lungs as your breath. Here, it damages DNA and can potentially increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
Radon forms when uranium that is found in soil, water and rocks begins to break down. When this is beneath your home it can seep into your home as well as the air around your home. It is a common problem throughout the country. Our area, the Midwest, tends to have higher levels. The recommended limit is 4 picocuries per liter of air.
Elevated levels can be found in any state and any home, next door neighbors could have vastly different readings. As radon can be inhaled outdoors it is much more dangerous when it is inside a home, when you and the gas are confined.
Testing can be done in short-term, usually around 2 days, or longer term which gives you a more accurate reading, usually over a period of 90 days. Radon levels can fluctuate which can give inaccurate readings on short term tests.
Quote from Everyday Health, Dr. Arenberg, “It is important to note that for people who do not spend any time in their basement, it may not necessary to measure your radon level in the basement,” Arenberg says. “Radon is not a problem on upper levels of houses, given the airflow which naturally reduces exposure to radon. I recommend people check the levels only if they have a finished basement or otherwise spend a lot of time in their basement.”
For higher levels of radon that need remediation, a removal system is installed that allows radon gas from underneath your home to be vented outside. Also, sealing off cracks to keep the gas from seeping thru will help. Retest to make sure the system is working.