Radon gas is found everywhere, but is particularly high in our area. Radon is a naturally occurring decay product of the breakdown of the Uranium atom, hundreds of feet below the soil.
As the Uranium atom decays and goes through its half life it’s converted to Radium-226, which again decays and goes through its half life, and is converted to Radium-222.
As these conversions take place, the atoms are rising through limestone, bedrock, clay and soil from hundreds of feet below grade. These atoms eventually surface, and can enter homes through cracks on concrete slab floors, cracks in foundation walls, any floor or wall penetrations, windows, well water, etc.
Radium-222 once inhaled decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down further, these particles release small bursts of energy. This can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. Not everyone exposed to elevated levels of radon will develop lung cancer, and the amount of time between exposure and the onset of the disease may be many years.
Radon is measured in pCi/L (picocuries per liter). Picocurie per liter (pCi/L): a unit of radioactivity corresponding to an average of one decay every 27 seconds in a volume of one liter, or 0.037 decays per second a liter of air or water: 1 pCi/L = 37 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3).
The EPA states any home testing over 4 pCi/L should have a Radon Mitigation system installed to lower Radon levels. I typically find that 1 out of every 3 homes that I test have a Radon level in excess of 4.0 pci/l.