Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CADMIUM in the HOME
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
CELL PHONE RADIATION
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDSRE
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS at BUILDINGS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEGIONELLA LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD CONSULTANTS / INSPECTORS
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL, HEATING, EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
OIL HEAT ODORS & NOISES
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
PET ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
PET STAINS & MARKS in BUILDINGS
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
PVC - VINYL BUILDING PRODUCTS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
METHANE GAS HAZARDS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWER GAS ODORS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
Radon gas hazards in buildings: health effects of radon, how radon levels should be measured, and how to correct unsafe indoor radon gas levles.
This article includes a review of the impact of radon gas contamination levels in air or water on real estate sales and property values. We include a table of risks comparing radon to other health and safety hazards and we provide links to eight detailed articles that will accurately and fully inform you about radon gas, the risks, and the remedies.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas released from the breakdown of uranium and radium, which is found in rocks and soil and sometimes in water. The gas enters the house primarily through cracks and gaps in the foundation, floor drains, and sumps, and concentrations build up indoors.
Radon can also enter the home through well water and be released during showering or other uses. In rare cases, it is found in masonry building materials. Radon is thought to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after smoking (Table 7-6).
Radon is drawn into buildings by the stack effect and by depressurization from mechanical equipment. During warm weather when the stack effect is reduced and buildings are often well-ventilated, indoor radon levels are usually one-third or more lower. Also, levels in the basement are typically over twice the level on the first floor.
Radon gas breaks down into short-lived decay products that can be inhaled either unattached or attached to other particles in the air and penetrate deeply into the lungs. According to its 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes, the EPA estimates that radon causes about 20,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the U.S.
This makes radon the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, where an estimated 1 out of 15 homes has elevated levels. The cancer typically occurs 5 to 25 years after exposure, and the risk goes up dramatically if the person is also a smoker (see Table 7-6, Lung Cancer Risk from Radon Exposure, below).
While much less of a problem than airborne radon, radon in water is also a concern. If indoor radon levels are high and the household uses well water, the water should also be tested. In general, every 10,000 pCi/L of radon in household water contributes about 1 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) of radon to indoor air level.
The radon gas is released from the water when it is aerated during showering, washing dishes, or laundering. There also may be an increased risk of stomach cancer from swallowing the water.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, ventilating bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms is usually adequate to reduce risks from radon in water.
However, where water levels are high, the radon can be removed by aeration treatment or carbon filtering.
-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.
See Radon Enviro-Scare for a full discussion of the normal cycle of public fear that accompanies the discovery and publicity of various environmental hazards, including radon gas and see Enviro-Scare, the Cycle of Public Fear for our article about consumer environmental safety worry cycles that change over time.
For a Thorough Background in Radon Hazards, Radon Mitigation, & the History of Radon Concerns in the U.S. also see these articles in PDF form, reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss
Continue reading at XXX or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
XXX at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Questions & answers abour radon gas harzards in buildings: the risks, the effect on real estate values, and the remedies for a radon problem. .
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References