Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless cancer causing radioactive gas. It is naturally occurring and comes from the natural breakdown of Uranium. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It is estimated that 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States are due to radon exposure.
The primary routes of potential human exposure to radon are inhalation and ingestion. Radon typically moves up through the ground and comes into homes through cracks in floors, walls, foundations and construction joints.
Nearly 1 in 5 homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated levels above 4.0 pCi/l (Picocuries per liter)
There is no fixed level of Radon in the air that is rated by the EPA or CDC to be totally safe. The US EPA, however, recommends that corrective measures be taken if indoor Radon concentrations exceed 4.0 pCi/L.
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Radon is measured in Picocuries per liter of air, a measurement of radioactivity. Radon testing is the only way to know if your home is safe.
Outdoor levels are approximately 0.4 pCi/L. The EPA uses 4.0 pCi/l as the action level, but no level of radon is safe.
Radon levels of 4.0 pCi/l is equal to 200 chest xrays per year or 8 cigarettes per day. There are no symptoms associated with exposure to radon. Radon is considered a known human carcinogen.
Hire a licensed professional to install a radon mitigation system in your home if elevated levels have been found.
Tier 1: High potential – at least 25 homes tested with 25 percent or more having radon concentrations greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L
Tier 2: Moderate potential – at least 25 homes tested with 5 to 24 percent having radon concentrations greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L
Tier 3: Low potential – at least 25 homes tested with less than 5 percent having radon concentrations greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L
"Regardless of the Tier designation, the Department recommends that all homes should be tested for radon. Radon concentration can vary widely within a tier location, depending upon the geology and amount of uranium in the soil. Homes in low or moderate radon potential areas can have elevated radon concentrations."
*Information obtained from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection