How To Check For Radon Gas in Your Home
The level of radon gas in the area is another question that often arises when buying or selling a house, and in some cases, a high level of radon can affect the sale of a property. Purchasers are sometimes advised to delay or decline a purchase if the seller has not successfully abated radon to an acceptable level. But what is radon gas …
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed in the earth by the decay of uranium, which is present in small quantities in all rocks and soil. It cannot be seen, smelt or tasted and can only be detected with special equipment.
For a long while radon has been associated with lung cancer and is believed to be in particles in the air that, when inhaled, are deposited in the airways and on lung tissue to give a radiation dose that can cause lung cancer. Smokers and former smokers are at the greatest risk.
Radon gas moves through the soil and can enter buildings through cracks in the floors, gaps around pipes and cables. Radon that surfaces outdoors quickly dilutes to harmless levels.
Minor amounts of radon may also come from building materials and from domestic water supplies.
Indoor radon concentrations can vary considerably from day to day due to changes in the weather, ventilation, etc.
There is an interactive online map that tells postcode residents and business people if their premises are at risk of exposure to radon gas.
There are relatively simple tests for radon gas, but these tests are not commonly done, even in areas of known systematic hazards. Radon test kits are commercially available. The short-term radon test kits used for screening purposes are inexpensive, in many cases free. The kit includes a collector that the user hangs in the lowest livable floor of the house for 2 to 7 days. The user then sends the collector to a laboratory for analysis. Long term kits, taking collections for up to one year, are also available. An open-land test kit can test radon emissions from the land before construction begins.
Keep your house well ventilated both upstairs and down.
To find out more about radon gas go to Wikipedia …
Beware of the junk mail coming through your door offering to measure the amount of radon gas in your home, and to provide a’ radon remediation service’. These can be costly and there’s no guarantee that the service is genuine.
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