Smoking continues to be the leading cause of lung cancer across the nation. But do you know what trails close behind? It’s the effects of radon gas, which is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Broomfield and across Colorado. Not only is it naturally occurring, but it’s also odorless, tasteless, and colorless, so it can’t be detected without assistance. What this means is homes across our fair state frequently have higher levels of radon gas than normal. Fortunately, if you are proactive about testing and caring for your home, it’s possible to keep the radon levels in your home at an acceptable level.
Safe Versus Unsafe Levels
When we talk about what is considered safe versus unsafe levels of radon, there are some specifics to understand. First and foremost, there is no truly “safe” level of radon gas. Radon is classified as a carcinogen, which means it has been shown to cause cancer. Even a lower amount of radon gas in the air still has the potential to cause harm to the lungs. However, radon is a naturally occurring gas that exists across the globe, so it’s pretty much impossible to get rid of it entirely. So, when we talk about radon levels, it’s generally done in terms of what is “acceptable” rather than safe.
Radon Level Testing
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have generated guidelines for acceptable and unsafe levels of radon gas. Anything under two picocuries per working level (pCi/L) is considered acceptable. If your home’s levels are between two and four pCi/L, they recommend you test more frequently and take steps to reduce the levels. Anything over four pCi/L is considered unsafe and radon mitigation is strongly recommended. Fortunately, testing radon levels is an easy process. You can get a radon home test kit from a local radon mitigation company. Generally, all you’ll need to do is let the kit sit open for the directed length of time, then send it in for testing to see how your home is doing.
If you’ve tested for radon and the levels warrant concern, a radon mitigation company can help put measures in place to reduce the levels. Those measures can include everything from sealing cracks in your foundation to installing a radon mitigation system. Each system is custom designed based on your home, but the base concept is the same. Since radon most often enters through cracks in a home’s foundation, radon mitigation systems generally involve sealing any entry points (cracks in the foundation, loose seals around sump pumps or pipes, and so on) and adding sub-slab ventilation to direct radon away from the home. After the system is installed, your radon mitigation company should perform another round of testing to ensure the system was installed correctly and is doing what it was meant to do.
Radon is a serious concern here in Broomfield and across Colorado. Start by testing your home at least annually. If your home’s radon levels are concerning, contact the Radon Gone team; we’ll help you breathe easier.