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What Exactly Is Radon?
This video, from the EPA, helps explain what radon gas is, where it comes from, and how it can endanger your health.
Why is radon the public health risk that it is?
EPA estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. Radon is a form of ionizing radiation and a proven carcinogen. Lung cancer is the only known effect on human health from exposure to radon in air. Thus far, there is no evidence that children are at greater risk of lung cancer than are adults.
Radon in air is ubiquitous. Radon is found in outdoor air and in the indoor air of buildings of all kinds. EPA recommends homes be fixed if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average radon concentration in the indoor air of America's homes is about 1.3 pCi/L. It is upon this level that EPA based its estimate of 20,000 radon-related lung cancers a year upon. It is for this simple reason that EPA recommends that Americans consider fixing their homes when the radon level is between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average concentration of radon in outdoor air is .4 pCi/L or 1/10th of EPA's 4 pCi/L action level.
Where are the most concentrations of radon in Georgia?
The map below is courtesy of the EPA.
About the Map
Sections 307 and 309 of the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988 (IRAA) directed EPA to list and identify areas of the U.S. with the potential for elevated indoor radon levels. EPA's Map of Radon Zones assigns each of the 3,141 counties in the U.S. to one of three zones based on radon potential.
What do the colors mean?
||Zone 1 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) (red zones)||Highest Potential|
||Zone 2 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L (orange zones)||Moderate Potential|
||Zone 3 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L (yellow zones)||Low Potential|
The purpose of this map is to assist National, State, and local organizations to target their resources and to implement radon-resistant building codes. This map is not intended to be used to determine if a home in a given zone should be tested for radon. Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones. All homes should be tested regardless of geographic location (per the EPA).
We use Sun Nuclear continuous read testing equipment. We will place the monitor in the lowest habitable or potentially habitable (unfinished basement) area of the home according to EPA protocols and run the test for a minimum of 48 hours. We will have the result verbally to you the same day and usually are able to send the report via email the same or next day.
For more information about Radon, please visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.