Radon Gas – your KC Home inspector should cover this for you.
As much as the world needs to focus on how to improve the quality of air outdoors indoor air quality is almost more important because people generally spend most of their time inside. If the indoor air quality isn’t clean our health can deteriorate rapidly and we may not even know because we are so used to our environment some dangers are hidden.
For example, when a pipe bursts or a window breaks we see it and fix it. However, there are other indoor hazards we can’t see that unless we test for them we would never know they exist until it’s too late.
A prime example: radon.
Radon is an extremely toxic invisible natural gas which originates through uranium decay found in all soils and enters homes through various cracks in the foundation, many of which are unnoticeable to the naked eye. Depending on soil composition under the house, weather, and ventilation most homes have some level of radon, which usually effects the basement and the floor above it. The fact most people don’t realize is the only level that is safe is no radon. Aside from that less exposure is obviously better.
According to the (EPA) radon’s carcinogenic character makes it the leading cause of lung canceer in the US behind smoking killing more than 20,000 a year. In 2005 the Surgeon General issued a Health advisory urging Americans to investigate how much radon their homes are accumulating but its unclear if the public has taken the issue seriously.
Part of the reason may be uncertainty of how to test. If your Home Inspector does not do this, here are some tips.
- Purchase a self test set at a local hardware store or through the mail. The testing is easy but may take time as radon levels change frequently. It is also plausible that you will do more than one test. There are short term tests and long term test but the most important thing is to choose one and decipher if your home is a center for radon collection or gets a clean bill of health.
- If you find traces of radon there are do-it-yourself manuals on how to fix a home’s foundation and alleviate radon from the house.
- If you are not a DIYer, hire a certified professional mitigation contractor. They can be found through your local-State Radon Office or contact one of two private organizations: The National Environmental health Association (NEHA) National Radon Proficiency Program and the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB).
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