Radon is a common radioactive gas that can pose health risks from long-term exposure. The EPA notes that one in 15 homes have high radon levels and recommends testing any time you build or buy a new home, as radon can affect any home. Fortunately, with the support of experienced professionals, radon testing is a simple process.
However, there are several myths about radon that prevent homeowners from having the correct information. At Alpha Environmental, we are committed to providing homeowners with the proper information on what radon is, how to address it, and where to find the right support for their homes.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released from soil, rocks, and water due to the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soil. Radon can enter your home through floor cracks, crawl spaces, floor-wall joints, or sump pits, leading to potential health risks.
The most significant risk of radon exposure is lung cancer. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that around 21,000 people die every year from lung cancer related to radon. This number makes radon the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths, behind smoking.
Radon is particularly dangerous because it is odorless, tasteless, and visually undetectable. As a result, it is important to be aware of the potential threat, and professional testing is the best measure you can take to protect your home from radon. With the proper education and support, you are more than equipped to keep your home safe from this radioactive gas.
Debunking Myths About Radon Gas
Radon can easily be managed by a trained professional, but the biggest problem is that many people do not take radon as seriously as they should. With the potential risks of radon gas, having the correct information is necessary to be willing to address the issue in your home or business. You can improve your awareness by breaking down these five common myths about radon.
Myth #1: Radon Is Only Found in Certain Areas
Fact: Testing shows that radon exists in every state. While it is true that some areas may have a higher risk of radon presence than others, radon exists virtually everywhere. Some soils, like granite soils, are more likely to emit radon, so location does matter to some degree, but still, most soils in the United States have a notable presence of radon.
Portland does have higher risks for radon presence compared to other parts of Oregon. Multiple ZIP codes in the Portland area are “high risk”, making testing even more important. Although a higher risk does not guarantee that radon will be present in every home, testing is still a good idea. It’s always better to be safe than to assume that you are completely free from the risk of radon in your home.
Myth #2: Radon Is Only a Problem in Old Homes
Fact: Unfortunately, radon can affect any home, new or old. Unlike other home hazards like asbestos or lead, radon is not just an outdated construction material that is no longer present in newer homes. Radon is a naturally occurring gas, so it can exist anywhere and become a problem for homeowners. Because radon is released by uranium breaking down in the soil, all it takes is for a home to be built on soil.
It is true that older homes may be more susceptible to radon since cracks in the walls and worn-down materials may provide pathways for radon to enter the home. However, any age home can be at risk. Even if your home is on the newer side, testing is smart. We recommend testing radon levels every two years regardless of how old your home is.
Myth #3: Radon Testing is Expensive and Difficult
Fact: The idea that radon testing is expensive is another common misconception. The price of testing can vary anywhere from $200 to $1500 depending on the duration of the test and the size of your home, which is more than worth the cost, given the benefits of discovering and mitigating radon. The value of radon testing and the peace of mind that it can offer is immeasurable, especially if you discover and alleviate an issue.
Because of the potential health risks, it is always cheaper to pay for radon testing now to ensure your best health than to worry about possible complications down the road. Regular radon testing will provide assurance that your home is safe from the hazardous gas.
Radon testing is not difficult either. In fact, if you hire a professional, testing is extremely easy. At-home radon testing kits are available, but when you rely on a trained professional, you can be confident in accurate results without complex processes or high costs.
At Alpha Environmental, we’ll take the weight off your shoulders. We have the tools and expertise to ensure simple and accurate radon testing. We offer three test options—short-term, long-term, and continuous testing—to gather all the information we need to support a healthy home.
Myth #4: Radon Mitigation Is Unnecessary Below EPA Recommended Limit
Fact: Radon exists everywhere, both in indoor and outdoor air, but it is more harmful in high concentrations, making mitigation essential. Radon presence is measured in a unit called picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The EPA recommends radon mitigation in homes where the radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
After all, any hazard is still a hazard. Radon mitigation is not a complex process, either, so the benefits far outweigh the costs. Therefore, if professionals find any considerable amount of radon, you should allow them to take the next steps to mitigate the presence of the gas and protect your health. Even if your home does not have high radon levels, radon mitigation systems are a smart choice for reducing the risk of potential health concerns.
Alpha Environmental offers radon mitigation services that prevent radon from entering your home and reduce existing radon levels. Even better, we’ll make the process effortless for you while providing accurate and reliable results.
Myth #5: Radon Only Affects Certain People
Fact: Although it is more comforting to think radon only affects some people, this is untrue. As with most things, some people, like children and elderly adults, are more vulnerable to radon than others. However, radon can affect anyone and should be treated as a potential threat to everyone in the home.
Prolonged exposure to radon can take a toll on anyone’s lungs, regardless of age, health history, or lifestyle. No matter how old or healthy the members of your home may be, testing and mitigation are always smart choices. Besides, there is no use in taking chances with radon exposure, especially when you can easily rely on professionals like the team here at Alpha Environmental to handle radon testing and mitigation for you.
Gain Peace of Mind Through Radon Testing in Portland, OR
Radon is a silent threat with important health risks, but a simple test by experienced professionals can help ensure your safety. At Alpha Environmental, we have the equipment and expertise to accurately test your home or business for radon and take the proper steps to control its presence. There is never any reason to take chances with your health. Our team of trained and certified radon mitigation technicians is here to give you the confidence you deserve.
With over 21 years of experience supporting residential and commercial customers in Portland, you can trust us to provide you with the support you deserve. To learn more about the risks of radon gas or to schedule radon testing for your home or business, contact us at Alpha Environmental today and receive a free estimate.