Written by: Morgan L. Barnett, UGA Radon Educator for UGA Extension Nutrition and Health Newsletter – September 2013; adapted by Kathryn Holland December 2014
Did you know your home could be filled with an invisible radioactive gas called Radon? Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the decay of uranium found in most rocks and soil. This is of particular concern to homeowners because the air pressure inside your home is typically lower than the pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation, causing your house to act like a vacuum and draw the radon in through foundation cracks or other openings.
If the test results come back at or above 4 pCi/L, you should fix/mitigate your home. If the test results are between 2 and 4 pCi/L, there is still enough risk of excess exposure that you should consider mitigating your house. The great news is that having a radon problem in your home is relatively simple to fix. Radon reduction systems can be put into place by radon mitigation companies to reduce radon levels by up to 99%, and help you greatly improve your home’s indoor air quality; go to www.UGAradon.org for a list of certified mitigators in your area.
Since radon levels vary from house to house, it is important for every home to test for radon. If your neighbor tests their home and has an acceptable level of radon that does not necessarily mean your home will also test in a safe range.
A great New Year’s resolution is to encourage your friends and family to test for radon; especially since January is National Radon Action Month. Help spread the word today so we can aid the fight to stamp out lung cancer. Every person should test for radon because anyone can get lung cancer, so test your home today! The lower the radon level in your home, the lower your family’s risk of developing lung cancer.
For more information or to order test kits go to www.UGAradon.org or call your county Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.
Happy New Year from the University of Georgia Extension!