(Source: Bob Molton)
Should you test your home for radon gas? The only answer is YES! Why? Because radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and reducing your risk is easy.
You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. However, it still may be a problem in your home. The only way to know for sure if you have a problem is if you run a simple radon test in your home. Most radon test kits are performed over a 48 hour time span, and usually up to a week for the results to come back from the lab. There are quicker ways to test your home, such as using and electronic testing device. These methods are more expensive, and provide the same results as the 48 hour canisters do. If you have the extra time it's advisable to use the simple canister test kits. You can these at your local hardware store.
If you discover that your home does have radon levels of 4 pCi/L (pico curries per liter) or higher, you'll probably want to take action and have some type of radon remediation done in your home. This sounds more involved than it is, but rest assured you can have this done in one afternoon with results guaranteed below 4pCi/L. This will give you the radiation protection you and your family deserve.
Radon Remediation can be done in a number of different ways. It does depend on the design of your home, the square footage, whether you have drain tile and or a sump pit, or a crawl space etc... These things are commonly dealt with and a qualified radon mitigation technician will be able to tell you exactly what he will need to do to your home to get the lowest radon level possible for your home.
MYTH #1. My home is new so I don't have a radon problem.
Fact: This is simply not true. New homes can have just as much radon inside as an older home and sometimes even more depending on how tight the house is built.
MYTH #2. My neighbor doesn't have high radon levels so my house won't either.
Fact: This is also not true. Your home could have twice as much radon as your neighbors home. This depends on if your house has a crawl space how tight it is, cracks in the floor, open sump lids etc...
MYTH #3. Radon isn't really harmful, I've lived here for 25 years and don't have any health problems.
Fact: The truth is that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Only people that smoke have a higher risk of getting lung cancer. You will reduce the risk of lung cancer when you reduce the radon levels, even if you have lived with an elevated radon level for a long time.