Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that can have very serious health effects. According to the Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer within the US. Radon levels fluctuate throughout the year, but often go undetected by homeowners, sometimes placing residents at risk without any detectable air quality changes. Environmental Engineer Jeffrey Bradley explains that it is not unusual for radon levels to be higher in the winter months. Snow cover creates a blanket effect that can trap radon in soil, allowing the gas to escape through the frozen ground and leak into houses at a higher concentration than during other seasons.
The EPA has set a national action level of 4 pCi/L (picoCuries of radon per liter of air). Bradley’s New England-based Environmental Engineering firm, IndoorDoctor, specializes in indoor air quality investigations to measure such levels. They recommend radon testing in different seasons at least every two years. Most homebuyers conduct a radon test as part of their purchasing agreement and neglect to test further down the road. “I’d say nearly half of the homes we test have radon levels higher than their initial test when they purchased the home,” Bradley says. He warns, too, that over-the-counter tests can be poor indicators of radon. “The only reliable way to be sure that your home has a safe level of radon is to test your home tested on a regular basis.”
To avoid the dangerous health risks associated with radon, IndoorDoctor engineers strongly urge homeowners to have their home’s indoor air quality tested for radon along with other indoor air quality pollutants. Contact IndoorDoctor to schedule unbiased and independent air quality testing.