Radon FAQs

 

What is Radon?
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building - homes, offices, and schools - and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

How Does Radon Get into the House?
Radon gas typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

      RADON GETS IN THROUGH:

1.      Cracks in solid floors

2.      Construction joints

3.      Cracks in walls

4.      Gaps in suspended floors

5.      Gaps around service pipes

6.      Cavities inside walls

7.      The water supply

                                                                                           

How Does Radon Cause Lung Cancer?

Radon gas 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

What is the Risk of Radon Exposure?
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each yearin the United States .   Long term exposure to Radon has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. 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.

How do I test my home?

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.  

The quickest way to test is with short-term tests. Short-term tests remain in your home for two days to 90 days, depending on the device. "Charcoal canisters," "alpha track," "electret ion chamber," "continuous monitors," and "charcoal liquid scintillation" detectors are most commonly used for short-term.

  Long-term tests remain in your home for more than 90 days. "Alpha track" and "electret" detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term test will give you a reading that is more likely to tell you your home's year-round average radon level than a short-term test.

 

Short-term radon test kits, including laboratory analysis and total postage, may be purchased form the DEQ for $28.04.  To order a test kit, call (405) 702-1152.

 

What do my test results mean?

The amount of radon in the air is measured in "picoCuries per liter of air," or "pCi/L." The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air.  EPA recommends fixing your home if the results one long-term test or the average of two short-term tests show radon levels of 4 pCi/L (or 0.02 WL) or higher.

Sometimes short-term tests are less definitive about whether or not your home is above 4 pCi/L. This can happen when your results are close to 4 pCi/L. For example, if the average of your two short-term test results is 4.1  pCi/L, there is about a 50% chance that your year-round average is somewhat below 4 pCi/L.

If your living patterns change and you begin occupying a lower level of your home (such as a basement) you should retest your home on that level.

Even if your test result is below 4 pCi/L, you may want to test again sometime in the future.

 

Who can test or fix my home for radon?

(Find a radon professional link)

Who is the State of Oklahoma Radon Contact ?
The radon contact for the State of Oklahoma is:
Keisha Cornelius (405) 702-5162

Email Keisha Cornelius

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