Kaltech is fully knowledgeable in and is IAQA and AIHA accredited in Indoor Air Quality ("IAQ") sampling including testing for Radon in your home. The sampling is non-destructive, is easy to obtain and is relatively cheap to perform. Radon sampling does, however, require some preparation:
- Prior to sampling, all windows and doors must be closed for at least 12 hours and remain closed during the sampling period (generally 48 hours). Normal entry and exit into and from the home is permitted so long as the door is closed behind the person and not allowed to remain open for extended periods of time.
- Heating and cooling systems should be operated in the normal fashion with the fan set to “auto” and the temperature maintained between 68 and 74 degrees.
- Fireplaces should not be operated during the test and the chimney damper should be closed.
- Portable humidifiers and dehumidifiers should not be operated during the testing.
- Whole house attic fans should not be operated during the test.
Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when uranium, thorium, or radium, which are radioactive metals break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes. Because radon comes naturally from the earth, people are always exposed to it.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General’s office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. When you breathe in radon, radioactive particles from radon gas can get trapped in your lungs.
The US 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 (a “picocurie” is a common unit for measuring the amount of radioactivity).
Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on:
- How much radon is in your home–the location where you spend most of your time (e.g., the main living and sleeping areas)
- The amount of time you spend in your home
- Whether you are a smoker or have ever smoked
- Whether you burn wood, coal, or other substances that add particles to the indoor air
- The chances of getting lung cancer are higher if your home has elevated radon levels and you smoke or burn fuels that increase indoor particles.
- The US EPA recommends that you test your home for radon no matter where you live, and depending on the results, further recommends that you fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher and consider fixing if your level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L.