This is the Information that is given to the General Public in the “US.”
You cannot see radon. And you cannot smell it or taste it. But there may be a problem beneath the home you are purchasing or even if you have lived there for some time. That is, because when you breathe air containing Radon that’s above the EPA’s recommended limit, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas. It is formed by the disintegration of radium, which is a decay product of uranium. Radon emits alpha particles and produces several solid radioactive products called radon daughters or “progeny”.
Some amounts of radon gas and radon progeny are present everywhere in the soil, water and air. Particularly high radon levels occur in regions where the soil or rock is rich in uranium. Radon is emitted by radium in the ground, groundwater and building materials. It can enter the indoor air where it and its decay products accumulate in poorly ventilated areas. Harmful levels of radon progeny can accumulate in confined air spaces, such as basements and crawl spaces.
Radon progeny are inhaled with air and deposit in the lungs. The lung absorbs alpha particles emitted by the radon progeny. The resulting radiation dose increases the risk of lung cancer.
If you are buying a home, the EPA recommends that you obtain the indoor radon level in a home you are considering buying. Ask the seller if he/she has tested the home or business in the last 6 months to a year, if yes, ask for a copy of the report. If the home has a radon reduction system, ask the seller for information about the system. If the home has not yet been tested, EPA recommends that you have it tested, prior to the purchase. If you are buying a newly-constructed home, EPA recommends that you have it tested.
The radon testing guidelines in the Home Buyers and Sellers Guide to Radon have been developed specifically to deal with the time sensitive nature of home purchases and sales and the potential for radon device interference. The EPA publication the “Home Buyer’s Guide” recommends two short-term testing options when long-term testing is not possible. The “Home Buyer’s Guide” also recommends testing a home in the lowest level of the home which is currently suitable for occupancy. This is because a buyer may choose to live in a lower area of the home than that used by the seller.
Radon is classified by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. Inhaling radon “progeny” increases the risk of lung cancer.
With the exception of the U.S., that registers Radon Levels by units of picocuries per litre (pCi/L) the rest of the World that has regulations for Radon measures Radon Levels by Becquerel [Bq] per cubic meter (Bq/m3).
Just to put in perspective, this is how the two ratings compare, The concentration of radon in the air is measured in units of picocuries per litre (pCi/L) or becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). One Bq corresponds to one disintegration per second. One pCi/L is equivalent to 37 Bq/m3.
The World Health Organization
pCi/L of 4.0 is considered to be the threshold limit in the U.S., compared to the threshold limit in the rest of the world, Bg/m3 which is 100. So to compare,
1 pCi/L = 37 Bg/m3…… Threshold Limit
4.0 pCi/L – 4.0…………Threshold Limit
1 pCi/L = 37 – 37 Bg/m3 or 100/37 = .26525
1 pCi/L = 37 – 37 Bg/m3 / x = 148
So we are to conclude that the U.S. formula gives a lower reading which is a higher concentration.
The production of Radon from Uranium.
Below is an IH (Industrial Hygienist’s) take on Radon. He has given classes to the Real Estate Industry about disputing Radon Professionals and that the general consensus among Industrial Hygienist’s that we are nothing more than people that use the Fear Factor to make money. That there is No truth in the Claims that Radon does or will affect Human Organs or cause cancer.
To add another factor into the claim is that he states the Federal Government Agencies dispute each other.
Now that may nothing new, but I will let you decide. (See Below)
Radon Testing (Agencies that have done studies)
It is the opinion of Mid Missouri Mold Inspection Services chief Evaluator that Mr. Connell may have important facts that is agreed upon, but the fact that he as a part of the IH Association and claims there is a lack of Issue with Radon, or any correct way for testing has been disapproved by more sciences and agencies then he has introduced into his teachings and reports.
STATEMENT: It is a part of my companies’ “Mission Statement” that as long as there is any cause that Radon could be linked with issues that could affect human health, we will continue to use the latest equipment and/or methods to test and bring results to our customers.