Where is radon found?

Radon can be found throughout the world in various concentrations. Some geographic areas may have more or less radon, but it can be measured everywhere. Most of Montana falls within the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Zone 1, meaning radon concentrations are typically elevated in these areas. 

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What is it?
Radon (specifically radon-222) is a an inert gas formed by the decay of uranium-238 which is found in the soil and rocks below us. Radon can make its way into our homes through even the smallest cracks and pores in a foundation. As radon continues to naturally break down, it produces a handful of Radon Decay Products, or RDPs. Some of these RDPs emit alpha particles as they continue through their decay cycle. 

Can I see or smell high concentrations of radon?

Like natural gas, radon is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. That rotten egg smell that you may associate with natural gas is actually an additive that helps us detect leaks. Radon, however, is completely undetectable without the use of a specialized testing device.

Is radon dangerous?
Radon is an internationally known carcinogen and has been proven so throughout decades of research and documentation. In fact, radon has been recognized as the number one cause of lung cancer-related deaths in non-smokers. This dangerous element can be found everywhere and accounts for an estimated 21,000 cancer deaths each year in the U.S. alone.

How can radon cause lung cancer?

As radon breaks down, two of its decay products (polonium-218 and polonium-214) emit alpha particles. Alpha radiation is generally not strong enough to even penetrate the skin externally, but if inhaled, these particles attach themselves directly to cells in the lungs and continue to emit radiation internally as they decay. 

Is there a safe level of radon?

No level of radon is considered safe, but the EPA has placed the Action Level at 4.0 pCi/L, or picocuries per liter of air. The EPA estimates that approximately 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S. meets or exceeds a level of radon that requires mitigation. Additional information from the EPA can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/radon.

What report will I receive?
If combined with your home inspection, you will receive a $50 discount on the radon inspection! In addition to your home inspection report, you will receive a detailed radon analysis that follows EPA guidelines and AARST-NRPP standards. Please note, this radon test takes a minimum of 48 hours to complete. Click here to see sample reports.