Radon - Testing & Mitigation Services
Brief Synopsis of Radon
Radon can be found everywhere. It is a natural, radioactive noble gas that is present in soil, water and indoor and outdoor air. The gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless, which makes it difficult to readily identify – even when high concentrations exist in a particular environment.
Radon is a natural byproduct of radioactive decay. It is produced in gas form by decaying uranium deposits contained in certain types of rocks and soil. The primary concern with radon exposure is that when breathed into the lungs it may damage cells, which can potentially mutate into cancerous cells. Whether a home is new or old does not necessarily affect the level of radon. Both new construction and older homes that have undergone energy efficiency upgrades are potentially susceptible to higher levels of radon because they are more ‘air-tight’.
According to the EPA, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause among non-smokers.
- Radon testing is easy and inexpensive
- Elevated levels of radon can be present in any location in any zip code.
- Radon can affect old and new homes, with or without a basement.
Radon can be found everywhere and elevated levels are common throughout the Portland-Vancouver Metro area. Both the EPA and the US Surgeon General recommend that all homes be tested for radon. Alpha Environmental is licensed by the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) and has extensive training in expertise in implementing these standards for the placement of tests in a home. We recommend long term testing whenever possible, as it provides the most accurate representation of your average levels of radon. A long-term test result is more likely to tell you your home’s year-round average radon level than a short-term test. If time permits (more than 90 days), long-term tests can be used to confirm initial short-term results. When long-term test results are 4 pCi/L or higher, EPA recommends fixing the home. Short terms tests are also very useful when under time constraints (a real estate transaction, for example), but it is important to understand that the results only indicated whether radon levels are elevated, not when they are low.
- Short term tests are 2 – 90 days with “Closed House” conditions.
- Long term tests are > 90 days with “Normal House” conditions.
- A Continuous Radon Monitor (CRM), Containers or Packets are used for testing
- Radon is measured in pico Curies per liter (pCi/L)
- Homes with results at 4.0 pCi/L or more should be mitigated
- Radon Levels between 2.0 and 3.9 pCi/L should be considered for mitigation
While no level of radon is considered ‘safe’, no further action is recommended for results below 2.0 pCi/L except periodic testing.
"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
If present, radon can be successfully and affordably mitigated for any building through the use of depressurization barriers and simple ventilation systems. Alpha Environmental offers highly adaptable systems and solutions for any situation. Below is a diagram to explain the general components in a radon mitigation system and how it works.