Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that is present in soil, water and air. The gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless which makes it particularly difficult to identify – even in high concentrations. It can be harmful due to its radioactive nature. If it is inhaled into the lungs, it can damage cells. Because of this, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
In a residential and commercial environment, radon testing with proper equipment is essential to ensure you are not being affected. Luckily, radon testing is easy and inexpensive, which is good because the EPA and the US Surgeon General recommend homes be tested for radon.
“I have worked with Alpha Environmental for years they are the Best! As a Realtor – they have been a great resource to me and clients with any and all environmental issues like oil tanks, mold, radon and much more. Great customer service, prompt, very knowledgeable and always there to answer questions or walk my clients through difficult situations. Definitely a 5 Star Company!” – Craig LaMantain Aug. 2013
Radon Risk in Oregon
Oregon.gov outlines radon risk levels by zip code and Portland, in particular, has some of the highest levels of risk in the state.
Simply because your Oregon zip code has a high level of risk does not mean your home or commercial building has radon, so it is highly recommended that you get radon testing done to see if you need mitigation services.
Radon Testing Methods
There are multiple time frames that can be used to test for radon, either a short-term, long-term or continuous radon test.
Short-term tests generally last between 2 – 90 days. This is typically provided for a real estate transaction. The benefit with a short-term test is that you are able to get results quickly, but the downside is that its not the most accurate because radon levels vary throughout the year. A long-term radon test will provide you with more accurate results with a time frame of greater than 90 days.
An even more accurate radon testing method is using continuous radon monitoring (CRM) equipment.
While do-it-yourself testing kits are available, the EPA recommends hiring a professional like Alpha Environmental to ensure that the testing methods utilized follow a specific protocol. Many states have guidelines that you should be sure are followed in order to protect yourself.
Once the radon test has been performed, if some of the element has been detected, radon mitigation needs to be performed. Similar to how testing can be affordable, mitigation and abatement services can be too. Using a mixture of depressurization barriers and simple ventilation systems, Alpha Environmental offers flexible options for a variety of situations and risk levels.
If your residence or commercial property in Portland or surrounding areas has any level of radon risk and you are concerned about its impacts, give Alpha Environmental a call at 503-292-5346 to get more information or schedule an appointment.