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What are the dangers of radon and how do you detect it?

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Why it’s important to have your home tested for radon.

To safeguard your family’s safety and wellbeing in New Jersey, a complete home inspection is essential. The hazard of radon gas can harm your health if you’re not aware of its existence and is a critical reason of why it’s vital to include radon testing by your home inspector.

Health Risks of Radon

Major health issues can be caused by long-term radon exposure, particularly lung cancer. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the US according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually are caused by exposure to radon.

radon gas

Health risks from radon gas

Smokers are 25 times more likely to acquire lung cancer than non-smokers. However, even if you don’t smoke, radon continues to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Origins of radon

Earth and rocks, particularly those that contain uranium, emit radon gas that enters homes through foundation cracks, gaps around pipes, and breaches in the walls and flooring; well water that is obtained from radon-rich subterranean sources may also contain radon.

Radon Exposure in New Jersey Homes

Radon is a concern for homes in New Jersey and the soil composition in the state can lead to varying levels of radon. Radon levels are expected to be higher in some homes where the soil has vital amount of thorium, uranium and radium.

Crawl spaces, basements, and first-floor living spaces are frequently contaminated by radon. It’s crucial to remember that radon levels can vary even between buildings that are close to one another or within the same building.

New Jersey Radon Testing: A Crucial Component of Home Inspections

Radon testing is very important to find out how much radon does exist in your house. Irrespective of their stage or site, it is advisable to assess all sorts of communities, including homes, apartments, and commercial buildings. No one can determine if you and your family are in danger without testing it. To ensure your family’s safety, it’s crucial to include radon testing as part of a comprehensive home inspection in New Jersey.

Types of Radon Testing

There are two categories of Radon tests available: short-term and long-term. Long-term tests are more accurate as they account for natural fluctuations in radon levels. The lowest living area should be tested for radon, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When radon levels in a residence surpass the EPA’s recommended action level of 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L), mitigation measures should be adopted.

Ways to Test for Radon

  • Activated charcoal that absorbs radon is found in charcoal canisters. They can be positioned everywhere in a home and are frequently used for short-term testing.
  • Continuous radon monitors: These technological innovations offer radon measurements in real-time and are suitable for both short- and long-term monitoring.
  • Alpha track detectors, electret ion chamber detectors, and charcoal liquid scintillation detectors are examples of passive devices. They don’t need electricity or batteries and are comparatively simple to use.

Radon Mitigation Strategies

There are several effective methods to reduce radon levels in your home, including:

  • Sealing and caulking foundation cracks and openings
  • Installing a sub-slab depressurization system (vent pipe and fan system), this removes the radon gas and discharges it to the exterior of the home.
  • Creating a gas-permeable layer beneath the slab or flooring
  • Installing plastic sheeting over crawl spaces or gas-permeable layers
  • Improving the overall ventilation of the building

To identify the best solution for your particular case and make sure your house is safe from radon exposure, it’s necessary to receive professional assistance with radon mitigation.

In addition to through soil and construction materials, well water is another way that radon can get into your house. Testing your well water, if you have one, is still required even if the risk from radon in water is lower than from the soil. Radon levels in water can be efficiently reduced by using granular activated carbon filters or aeration systems.

It is very crucial to raise awareness about the dangers of radon. Homeowners, builders, and policymakers should work together to include radon prevention measures in building codes, promote education about radon exposure, and make affordable testing and mitigation services available to everyone.

Why Awareness Matters: 

Residents in New Jersey need to know about radon gas and how it can be dangerous. Homeowners can make their houses safe by getting knowledge about the dangers and adopting the essential protections to keep their families and home safe. The need of a thorough home inspection in New Jersey cannot be overstated if you want to keep your family secure and healthy. Radon testing is an essential component of the examination because this dangerous gas cannot be seen or smelled. You may safeguard your family from radon’s hidden risks by conducting a radon test and taking measures to lower its concentration. Understanding the dangers, being proactive about testing, and employing efficient radon mitigation techniques will help you and your loved ones live in a safe and healthy environment.

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