The Homeowner’s Guide to Radon

What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas which comes from the breakdown of uranium. Uranium is an element that is naturally-occurring in soils, rocks and in some building and construction materials. Radon gas is colorless and odorless. It can seep into homes, schools and businesses through cracks in the foundation, walls and joints. Most radon exposure occurs in homes, where individuals spend most of their time.

The radon concentration in any building is dependent on the type of soil on which the building was built. In addition, the ventilation rate and air-flow patterns within a structure are important factors which can affect the concentration of radon in different areas of the structure.

Why is Radon a health risk?
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that lung-cancer due to radon exposure causes nearly 21,000 deaths annually among Americans. Many cases of lung cancer are preventable, especially radon-related lung cancer.

The risks associated with radon exposure are believed to increase as the concentration of radon in the air increases. Radon concentration in the air is measured in units called picoCurries/Liter (pC/L). (The Curie is named for Maria Skłodowska Curie, a chemist and radiation researcher who was the first person and only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice.) The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) use 4 pC/L as the upper limit of radon concentration which should prompt home and other property owners to take corrective action.

Radon Detection & Removal

How is Radon Detected?
Our certified radon inspectors use the most advanced technology available to accurately detect radon in your home, school or business. Every air sample – no matter the detection device employed – is analyzed by a New York State Department of Health certified Environmental Lab Approval Program (ELAP) laboratory. The ELAP certification ensures that any results obtained in a structure are accurate and reliable.

There are currently two methods of radon detection: passive testing and active testing. Passive testing methods employ devices that collect radon gas over a period of time and provide a total amount of radon detected during that period of time. Active testing methods can detect and record radon levels continuously.

Radon Removal
When radon is detected in your home, school or business, mitigation systems can be deployed to decrease, stop and/or reverse the presence and accumulation of radon gas. Our certified radon inspectors will thoroughly inspect and test your structure before determining the most effective and cost-efficient method to reduce or eliminate the health risks of radon.