Radon, is a radioactive, odorless, colorless, tasteless, and chemically inert gas that was first discovered in 1910. Radioactive elements in rocks find their way into the soil as they are worn down over time, and in certain instances, can migrate through soil to enter homes in quantities that are great enough to be a hazard to your health.
In order for these to instances to occur, there must be a source of radon, permeable soil, and a conduit into your home. Common points of entry include, but are not limited to, porous basement floors/walls, cracks in concrete floors or slabs, and openings around utility accesses.
Certain areas are susceptible to radon accumulation as well:
Buildings constructed in areas where the rocks contain higher than average quantities of uranium
Buildings that are created over uranium-bearing veins and granite pegmatites
Geographic areas containing radium contamination
Property in areas that contain high concentrations of radon in the ground water
Residential or commercial buildings built on or constructed with radioactive materials like as uranium mill tailings.
Houses built in other areas of the Piedmont Province, especially those built on the zone of phyllites running through central Montgomery, western Howard, eastern Frederick and central Carroll Counties, frequently have indoor radon values exceeding the levels considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Most sands and gravels of the Maryland Coastal Plain have been well oxidized, with the majority of the uranium leached out and carried away. Unfortunately, certain Coastal Plain sediments contain uranium-rich phosphate beds which resist oxidation, so homes built on these foundations are at risk for elevated radon values.
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Affordable Radon Reduction, Inc.
Dundalk, MD 21222
The Surgeon General has warned that radon is a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking, meaning that If you smoke and are exposed to excessive radon levels, your risk is especially high.
Testing for radon is the only way to know if you are at risk. Many methods are available to detect radon, but the two most popular with homeowners are the carbon canister and the track etch. These devices are placed in either your basement or your living area for a specific amount of time before being returned to wherever they were purchased for analysis.
Measurements can also vary with both the location in your house as well as the season, so to get the best assessment, multiple readings should be taken at different times. Readings taken in the basement during the winter are often found to be the highest.
No level of radon exposure is safe. However, if your long-term exposure will average 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, the EPA recommends taking action to reduce it. pCi/L measures the rate of radon's radioactive decay, where 1 pCi/L is one trillionth of a curie, 0.037 disintegrations per second, or 2.22 disintegrations per minute.
Therefore, at 4 pCi/L (the EPA's recommended action level), there will be approximately 12,672 radioactive disintegrations in one liter of air during a 24 hour period.
There are many ways to reduce the levels of radon in your home. To find the one that is right for you, you can contact us by e-mail, phone us toll free, or fill out our online form for an estimate.