Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas emanating from the small amount of uranium found in the soil below our homes. It is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and can build up in our homes and buildings. You can't see or smell radon so specialized testing devices are needed.
Risk factors of radon gas include:
- Smoking - Smokers are 10 to 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer from radon exposure than non-smokers
- Health - Those with already existent lung complications such as asthma are at a greater risk of developing lung cancer from radon
- Age - Children are more sensitive to radon due to their difference in physiology and breathing patterns than adults
- Climate & Location - Radon levels tend to be higher in cooler climates and lower in warmer climates. Mountainous states also are noted as having the highest levels of radon in the country.
Radon is a natural gas that moves freely through air, soil, and water. Radon mainly enters indoors through the soil. It is released from the soil into the home and remains present in trapped air, able to be inhaled by anyone in the vicinity. Radon's charged state enables it to attach to most solid matter it encounters, such as dust particles, walls, floors, clothing, etc.
Testing for radon gas is a smart and efficient way to protect your family and maintain a low-risk environment in the home. Radon testing is primarily done via the air in this part of New York state, as radon presence in water tends to be minimal. There are two types of radon tests that can be conducted.
Typically done for the sake of real-estate transactions, short-term radon gas tests refer to any test taken over the span of 90 days or less. On average, radon tests fulfilled for real-estate purposes take about 2 days. These short-term tests provide a general understanding of the amount of radon present in the home or building. It is crucial before the testing is done that closed house conditions exist 12 hours prior to the start of the test and continue during the test period. Normal in and out of the house is acceptable.
At Professional Inspections we use CRMs (Continuous Radon Monitors). These devices can test up to 14 days if needed, but typically they are done for a minimum of 48 hours for the real estate transaction. This allows us to produce a NYS ELAP approved test report in less than 24 hours after the test is completed.
Long-term radon testing allows for a greater understanding of the home's radon presence and its seasonal fluctuations. Homeowners opt for this testing process to gather a greater understanding of the long-term radon exposure they have been living with.
This process involves using an Alpha Track Device, leaving the test device on-site for a year or more to expose it to every season and all home conditions, such as the difference between windows being open in the summer versus being closed in the winter.
We pride ourselves on our efficiency and reliability. Below is a step-by-step guide to our radon testing process in Binghamton, NY.
- Call the experts! Schedule an appointment for us to come to your location.
- Keep all windows and doors closed 12 hours prior to our arrival.
- We will set up our monitoring device in the lowest usable space, 3 feet up from the floor and away from any windows or fans.
- We leave the device to run for the chosen amount of hours (48, 72, or 96)
- We pick it up and bring it to our NYS approved ELAP lab
- Your lab report is generated by our NYS ELAP Lab and sent to you
- We analyze the results, consult with you, and determine a mitigation plan if needed.
According to the EPA, any home with 4 picocuries or greater of radon must be remediated. However, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), any home with greater than 2.7 picocuries should be mitigated. Because roughly 67% of radon-related lung cancer cases occur between 2 and 4 picocuries, we believe it is of the utmost importance to remediate for anything greater than 2 picocuries. There is no established safe level of radon making any degree of exposure a potential risk.
AT PHIS, we believe in the importance of integrity and quality. That's why we are New York State Department of Health approved, are a NYS ELAP Lab, and are NRPP Certified (National Radon Proficiency Program).
We urge all of our clients to only work with companies listed on the NYS Department of Health website with NRPP certifications to ensure the strictest adherence to quality and safety possible. We take the health and safety of each of our customers seriously, providing them with the highest quality service possible and backed by years of knowledge and professional experience.
Here are some additional resources.
National Radon Action Plan
Guide for Health Care Providers [English Edition]
Guide for Health Care Providers [Spanish Edition]
CR3 News Magazine Newsstand