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RADON

  Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock.  It is invisible, order less and tasteless, and can only be detected by specialized tests.  Radon enters homes through openings that are in contact with the ground, such as cracks in the foundation, small openings around pipes, and sump pump pits.

  Radon, like other radioactive materials, undergoes radioactive decay that forms decay products.  Radon and its decay products release radioactive energy that can damage lung tissue in a away that causes the beginning of lung cancer.

  The more radon you are exposed to, and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of eventually developing lung cancer.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, resulting in 15,000 to 22,000 deaths per year.

  Testing your home for radon is easy and homes with high levels of radon can be fixed (mitigated).  The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends that all homes be tested for radon.

  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states about 1 in 15 homes has high radon levels.

EPA Map of Radon Zones

Radon Potential of Your Town

  A radon testing device is placed within the home for 2-6 days then mailed to a qualified licensed laboratory. Usually within a week or there after you are  provide with the laboratory results.

Protect your family. Test your home.

Test your home for Radon

  If high concentrations of radon is found in your home it may be necessary to limit the amount of radon getting into the home by sealing or otherwise obstructing the access points or a mitigation system. Typical radon mitigation systems can cost between $800 and $2500, according to the EPA.

The following statement is that of the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection.

 The Radon Section, as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency, has always stressed that there is no safe level of radon, and that homeowners should reduce their levels as much as possible.
 

CANCER AND RADON

Studies on the carcinogenicity of radon: 

 Scientists agree that radon causes lung cancer in humans. Recent research has focused on specifying the effect of residential radon on lung cancer risk. In these studies, scientists measure radon levels in the homes of people who have lung cancer and compare them to the levels of radon in the homes of people who have not developed lung cancer.

 Researchers have combined and analyzed data from all radon studies conducted in Canada and the United States. By combining the data from these studies, scientists were able to analyze data from thousands of people. The results of this analysis demonstrated a slightly increased risk of lung cancer for individuals with elevated exposure to household radon. This increased risk was consistent with the estimated level of risk based on studies of underground miners.

 Techniques to measure a person’s exposure to radon over time have become more precise, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the 1990s and early 2000s.

 Testing is the only way to know if a person’s home has elevated radon levels. Indoor radon levels are affected by the soil composition under and around the house, and the ease with which radon enters the house. Homes that are next door to each other can have different indoor radon levels, making a neighbor’s test result a poor predictor of radon risk. In addition, rain or snow, barometric pressure, and other influences can cause radon levels to vary from month to month or day to day, which is why both short- and long-term tests are available.

 Short-term detectors measure radon levels for 2 days to 90 days, depending on the device. Long-term tests determine the average concentration for more than 90 days. Because radon levels can vary from day to day and month to month, a long-term test is a better indicator of the average radon level. Both tests are relatively easy to use and inexpensive. A state or local radon official can explain the differences between testing devices and recommend the most appropriate test for a person’s needs and conditions.

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking action to reduce radon in homes that have a radon level at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. About 1 in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above this EPA action level. Scientists estimate that lung cancer deaths could be reduced by 2 to 4 percent, or about 5,000 deaths, by lowering radon levels in homes exceeding the EPA’s action level.

 

 

 

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