Do you need a home radon test? This question is hard to answer, but with the US EPA estimating that nearly one in every three houses have high radon levels it might be a good idea to have a closer look at radon and what it can do to your health. Reason enough for us to do some radon test kit reviews.
What is Radon
Radon gas is a radio active gas that naturally occurs in rocks and soil. In same rear cases it is also be found in water sources.
Radon is a gas you:
- Can not see
- Can not smell
- Can not taste
What health issues can radon cause?
The question what does radon do to the radon is not easy to answer in a few sentences but, according to the Surgeon general radon is the second cause of long cancer in the United States after smoking. If you smoke and are exposed to high radon levels you are at a very high risk.
Should you test for radon?
Testing is the only way to find out if your home has any radon gas and what the levels are.
Elevated levels have been found in every state and the website radon.com estimates that 1 in every 5 houses has elevated radon levels.
One of the easiest ways to test is using a radon home test kit. It is hard to say what the best home radon test kit is but I did some research and found one that I think is good and affordable.
I read that some states can help you with a test so I suggest to contact your local health department to see if they have any free testing available.
Home radon test kit
I have looked at two type of radon home test kits. The firs one was the one that you had to send in to a lab and wait for the results to come in.
There were 16% of the users that gave it a 1 and 2 star rating and that is to much for met to get even starting to read more.
The second one is a continuous meter that can be used all the time and gives averages for 1 day, 7 days and also a 1 year average.
It makes sense to me to use this meter instead of a one time reading radon test. Specially since you can move it from room to room.
Why I recommend a continuous radon meter?
If you have your test results and take measurements to lower your radon levels you need to test again.
This would require to purchase new test kits.
You can use the one time kits only in one place. If you like to test your basement, first floor and second floor you need three test packages.
It is also a fact that radon levels can change so to monitor it all the time makes more sense to me than checking levels ones in a while and forget to do it easily.
I found the Corentium Home Radon Detector by Airthings 223 portable meter and although it comes with a price tag I think it is worth the money and one of the radon test kit on Amazon with high ratings..
The advantages of this radon detector is:
- 1 day levels
- 7 day levels
- 1 year average levels
- Not affected by humidity
- Not affected by emf’s
- Long battery lifetime
How accurate is the Corentium Home Radon Detector
I have read many of the reviews and questions asked about home radon test accuracy and the company claims a +/- 5% accuracy many users claim that after testing with other devices including professional the accuracy is indeed within tenths.
I also read that if the reading starts out to be high you should give it at least the recommended seven days to test. Burt give it at least 48 hours.
If I look at radon test kit ratings, this radon test kt scores pretty good.
How to reduce radon in your home?
If the readings of your home radon test are too high you should do radon mitigation and there are basically 2 ways of doing this.
- Preventing radon from entering your home
- Removing radon after entering your home
For me it makes sense trying to prevent radon from entering should be the fist one to achieve, but it is not always possible. It depends on how your house is built.
A house built on a concrete slab needs a different approach than a house with a crawl space.
Ventilation is one of the things you can do yourself to lower radon levels, but in many cases a more permanent solution is necessary. Ventilation under the floor is most of the time more effective since the radon does not enter your house.
How much does it cost to reduce radon levels at home?
It is hard to give any numbers but I read that it can be between 800 and 2 thousand dollar. But to be sure yo should contact a local company fore this.
A radon contractor is most of the time called a mitigator.
Radon health risks and facts
The Us EPA estimated that there are 20.000 death each year that can be caused by Radon. This is a scary high number in my opinion.
The number is even higher when you smoke.
The effect on our health cost is estimated over 2 billion dollar.
- Exposed to a level of 4 pCi/L is 35 times higher than allowed by the nuclear regulatory commission if you would live next to a radioactive waste site.
- A school student that spends all day and whole year in school with a level of 4 pCi/L will receive 10 times that amount of radon as someone who lives next to a nuclear plant.
What is a high level or radon in a home
Like I wrote in the paragraph above about the levels of radon around nuclear power-plants it surprises me that a level of 4pCi/l is acceptable for home but not for around a nuclear plant.
What does pCi/l stand for was the first thing that I asked myself and the answer is Picocuries per liter. But I had to dig a little deeper because this still does not explain it for me.
I found this answer:
- A picocurie (pCi) is a very small amount of radioactivity, and it is associated with about a trillionth of a gram (a picogram) of radium.
My take on home Radon testing
For me it makes sense to spend some money on a home radon test kit. I am always concerned about the indoor air quality after realizing and reading that the indoor air sometimes is more polluted than outdoors where we think it is.
There are more dangers in our house like you can read in the article about Asbestos products in your house that I wrote.
In general we breathe in too much so called conditioned air. We work in air conditioned offices, schools, stores and we drive air conditioned cars and home it is not much better.
Maybe we should focus a little more on this and in this way maybe can take a big step in improving our health.
You can read more about Radon and a home Radon test for the home at the resources I have used for this article.
Feel free to share your opinion about radon exposure at home, school or work in the comment section.