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The cause and effect of high radon levels

April 18, 2024
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high radon levels

Radon is a radioactive gas that rises from the ground and gets trapped inside homes. Similar to carbon monoxide, it can’t be detected by our senses. Unfortunately, exposure over a long period to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and causes 21,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Radon exists outdoors, too, but it dissipates into the air, so outdoor exposure doesn’t cause a major threat to our health. So, what level of radon inside is safe? We’re here to help you understand so you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Is any radon exposure safe?

Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), and you can find your home’s radon level by performing a simple test. Technically, no level of exposure is safe, but your health risk greatly varies depending on how much you’re exposed to. The average outdoor radon level is 0.4 pCi/L, but once levels rise to 2.0 pCi/L inside, it’s time to consider taking action. 

If your home has a high radon level, a radon mitigation system can be installed to reduce the concentration in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends considering mitigation at 2.0 pCi/L, and the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests taking action at 2.7 pCi/L. Regardless, you should consult a radon professional near you—they can help you figure out when it is an appropriate time to install a system in your home based on your specific factors.

What contributes to high radon levels

The amount of radon in your home is correlated to how much uranium is in the soil below your home. Uranium is present across the state of Utah, and conservatively, one in three Utah homes has a high radon level. 

Additionally, the time of year you test and your home can contribute to the amount of radon in your home. Radon levels are higher in winter, so you should alternate your testing between winter and summer. Further, homes are often built more “airtight” nowadays, which means less radon can escape, and the concentration goes up. Finally, if you do any construction on your home or your home experiences a natural disaster, the structural changes can cause more radon to enter your home.

Test your home for radon today

Click here to request a free radon test If your home tests high, contact a certified radon mitigation company for a quote. 

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