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What is Radon?
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. The release of this radioactive gas enters the air you breathe, causing a potential health risk to you and your family. It is a radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium and is found in rock and soil. Radon moves up through the soil and can penetrate the foundation of a house through cracks, joints, drains and other openings in floors and walls. Trapped in a house, radon can accumulate to hazardous concentrations
Radon gas can be found just about anywhere. It can get into any type of building -- homes, offices, and schools -- and build up to high levels. Click here for the EPA map of Massachusetts Radon levels.
What you should know about Radon:
Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas. You cannot see radon and you cannot smell it or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. This is because when you breathe air-containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
You should test for radon. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy - it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.
A radon problem can be fixed. There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that are not too costly and even very high levels of radon can be reduced to acceptable levels.
If you are buying a home. EPA recommends that you obtain the radon level in the home you are considering buying. An EPA publication "The Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide" is available through most State Health Departments or Regional EPA offices listed in your local phone book. EPA also recommends that you use a certified or state licensed radon tester to perform the test. If elevated levels are found it is recommended that these levels be reduced. In most cases, a professional can accomplish this at reasonable cost or homeowner installed mitigation system that adheres to the EPA's approved methods for reduction of radon in a residential structure.
What are the Risk Factors?
The EPA, Surgeon General and The Center for Disease Control, have all agreed that continued exposure to Radon gas can cause lung cancer. In fact, their position on the matter is that all homes should be tested for radon gas exposure, and all homes testing over 4 pCi/L should be fixed.
How Does Radon Enter the Home?
Typically the air pressure inside your home is lower than the pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. Due to this difference, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon gas in through foundation cracks and other openings of your home. Radon may also be present in well water and can be released into the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses.
Potential Entry Points: