Radon testing is important because radon is a known carcinogen and can pose a significant health risk to people who are exposed to high levels of radon over a long period of time. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and is responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Radon gas is invisible and odorless, making it difficult to detect without special testing equipment. Radon can seep into buildings through cracks in the foundation, walls, or floors, and can accumulate to high levels indoors. Radon levels can vary widely depending on factors such as the geology of the area, the construction of the building, and ventilation.
The only way to know if a building has high levels of radon is to have it tested. Radon testing can be done by a professional or with a do-it-yourself test kit, which can be purchased from many home improvement or hardware stores. If high levels of radon are found in a building, there are several methods for reducing radon levels, such as sealing cracks and openings in the foundation or installing a radon mitigation system.
Testing for radon is especially important for people who spend a lot of time indoors, such as homeowners, workers in buildings with high levels of radon, and people who live in areas known to have high radon levels. The EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon, regardless of whether they are old or new, well-sealed or drafty.
Radon testing is also important for people who are buying or selling a home. Radon testing is not typically included in a standard home inspection, so buyers and sellers may need to arrange for a separate radon test. If high levels of radon are found in a home, the buyer and seller can work together to address the issue, such as negotiating a lower price to cover the cost of radon mitigation.
In summary, radon testing is important for protecting human health, especially for people who spend a lot of time indoors. Radon is a known carcinogen and can pose a significant health risk if exposure is prolonged. The only way to know if a building has high levels of radon is to have it tested, and if high levels are found, there are methods for reducing radon levels to protect human health.