Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in trace amounts in the atmosphere. When naturally occurring radioactive elements in soil and rocks (like uranium and thorium) start to decay, radon gas is released.
Radon is colorless, odorless and generally harmless if you’re exposed to it outdoors. However, the gas can make its way into homes and buildings through cracks and holes in the foundation, where it then gets trapped.
Prolonged exposure to radon can cause serious health problems. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. for non-smokers, which is why it’s important to test for radon and install a radon mitigation system to reduce the amount of radon in your home or business.
At Alpha Environmental, our professionals have the experience and equipment to properly test radon levels, and will recommend the best radon system for your home or business. View our radon testing services or contact us today to schedule a free estimate from one of the most reliable radon mitigation companies in Portland.
Safe Amounts of Radon
In the outdoors, radon naturally occurs at an average of 0.4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air). The average home has about 1.3 pCi/L of radon, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated that nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in 7 states had radon levels over 4 pCi/L, which is the level at which the EPA recommends installing a radon mitigation system in your home or building.
According to Air Chek, 31 states—generally the northern half of the country—have radon exposure above 4 pCi/L. Only five states (Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Hawaii) and Washington D.C. have low radon levels (below 1.9 pCi/L).
Getting Rid of Radon
You can’t completely remove radon from your home or building, but you can install a radon mitigation system to reduce the levels to a safe amount.
What is a Radon Mitigation System?
A radon mitigation system either:
- Prevents radon from entering your home
- Reduces radon levels after it’s entered your home
Two types of radon systems exist:
- Active systems use a fan to expel radon from your basement/crawlspace. Active radon mitigation systems are designed to reduce high levels of radon in a building.
- Passive systems use ventilation to circulate air through your basement/crawlspace. Passive radon mitigation systems are better suited for new construction buildings, which are ideally properly sealed to help prevent radon from entering. Passive systems can be upgraded to an active system after installation if needed.
Radon in the Home
The average level of radon in Oregon homes is 3.1 pCi/L. The EPA estimates that roughly 4–7 people could get lung cancer from being exposed to a lifetime of radon levels above 2 pCi/L. Those numbers multiply significantly if you smoke.
Since the EPA recommends radon mitigation between levels of 2 and 4 pCi/L, you may want to consider installing a radon system to help keep radon levels down. You can have a professional test the radon levels in your home to help you decide which type of radon system will work best for you.
You can have a professional test the radon levels in your home to help you decide which type of radon system will work best for you.
Commercial Radon Mitigation
As a property owner, you’re responsible for making sure all buildings are safe and habitable for occupants, which includes keeping radon levels from becoming too high. Installing a radon system will help keep radon within recommended levels on your property.
While most states don’t have regulations around radon testing and mitigation for schools, the EPA recommends regular radon testing at schools and installing a radon system if levels exceed 4 pCi/L to keep students and school staff safe.
If you’re building a new construction home or business, proactively installing a radon system is the best way to keep radon from building up inside the building.
If you decide on a passive radon system, make sure the professional tests radon levels after installation to make sure it’s working properly.
Contact Us for Radon System Installation
At Alpha Environmental, we take radon testing and mitigation seriously. Our equipment is significantly more accurate than DIY radon testing. Plus, our professionals have the right training and certification to properly install radon mitigation systems, ensuring they’re up to code and won’t result in radon re-entering your building.