Radon Information

Does the risk of radon depend on where in the state you live?

R.S.S. has already scientifically identified the areas in northeast Ohio with the most potential for radon contamination, based on over a decade of intense geological and geochemical surveys. We back this unique knowledge with specific, multiple detection techniques to be sure our readings are correct in each radon survey. Finally, we provide the experience and technology to take care of the problem.

What is Radon?

Radon is an odorless, colorless, chemically inert but radioactive gas that occurs naturally all across the U.S at varying concentrations. It is a decay product of uranium and radium present in bedrock, and its own decay products ("radon daughters") are also radioactive. Because radon is a gas, it moves easily up through soil. It also can be dissolved in and carried by groundwater and natural gas. Outdoors there is no problem because the gas gets diluted and blown away before it can decay. In your home or business environments, the gas can build up and that's when the trouble starts.

Where does Radon Come From?

Radon comes initially from the decay of Uranium which then becomes radium and then finally radon. Therefore many rocks in the bedrock found under homes, schools, or businesses could have these source rocks associated with them and could pose a threat to the inhabitants above them.

How can Radon harm you?

When radon decays, its "RDP's" or radon decay products can become attached to dust in the air you breath. These RDP's then decay in your lungs, releasing alpha radiation that damages your cells and increases the risk of lung cancer. The effect was first seen in uranium miners, but today the threat goes far beyond just them. Government reports estimate that radon may cause nearly 30,000 lung cancer deaths a year among ordinary Americans.

How does radon enter your home?

Radon enters buildings many ways. It comes in through joints, cracks, in concrete walls or floors, openings in drains or sump pits, and gaps in plumbing passageways - it can be found even in well water or natural gas (shale gas). The more sealed up your windows and doors are (as with today's energy constructions), the more radon gets concentrated in the inside air.

What is the "Action Level" that is set by the EPA as safe or unsafe?

4pCi/L or higher concentrations of Radon are considered to be above the safe level. The EPA recomends that even if your home tests below 4pCi/L that the home be retested every two years. This is due to the fact that fluctuates seasonally as well as even diurnally. Some points of the year have a higher concentration of radon than others.

What are the risks of Radon if you are a smoker?

If 1000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a normal lifetime.

  • At 20pCi/L - About 135 people could get lung cancer - This is 100 times the risk of drowning
  • At 10pCi/L - About 71people could get lung cancer - 100 times the risk of dying in a home fire.
  • At 4pCi/L -About 29 people could get lung cancer - 100 times the risk of dying in a plane crash.
  • At 2.0pCi/L - About 15 people could get lung cancer - 2 times the risk of dying in a car crash.
  • At 1.3pCi/L - About 9 people could get lung cancer - At a level of 0.4pCi/L3could get lung cancer.

What are the risks of Radon if you are not a smoker?

If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime.

  • At 20pCi/L - About 8 could get lung cancer - The same risk as being killed in a violent crime
  • At 8pCi/L - About 3 could get lung cancer - 10 times the risk of dying in an airplane crash
  • At 4pCi/L - About 2 people could get lung cancer - About the same risk as drowning
  • At 2pCi/L - About 1 person could get lung cancer - About the same risk as dying in a home fire