Radon Risks and Testing

Radon Kills Slowly Silently and Without Prejudice

 Why should you have radon testing for your home?

Radon testing is the only way to verify your home is safe from radon hazards.  The US EPA estimates that 21,000 people will die in the US from

Radon related cancer annually.  Extended exposure to Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancers after smoking.  Radon is a proven carcinogen and the only know adverse effect of air born Radon is lung cancer.  Luckily Radon does not appear to have a greater effect on children than adults.

According to the US EPA Radon is estimated to Kill 21,000 people in the United States every year.  Amazingly that’s more than die from drunk driving (17,400), falls in the home (8000), drowning (3900) and fires (2800).  Sadly all of these numbers can be drastically reduced with education and simple prevention methods.

The following is from the US EPA http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html

Radon and Smoking: Radon Risk If You Smoke

Radon LevelIf 1,000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime*…The risk of cancer from radon exposure compares to**…WHAT TO DO:
Stop smoking and…
20 pCi/LAbout 260 people could get lung cancer250 times the risk of drowningFix your home
10 pCi/LAbout 150 people could get lung cancer200 times the risk of dying in a home fireFix your home
8 pCi/LAbout 120 people could get lung cancer30 times the risk of dying in a fallFix your home
4 pCi/LAbout 62 people could get lung cancer5 times the risk of dying in a car crashFix your home
2 pCi/LAbout 32 people could get lung cancer6 times the risk of dying from poisonConsider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/LAbout 20 people could get lung cancer(Average indoor radon level)(Reducing radon
levels below 2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/LAbout 3 people could get lung cancer(Average outdoor radon level)
Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be lower.
* Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003).
** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 1999-2001 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Reports.

Radon Risk If You Have Never Smoked

Radon LevelIf 1,000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime*…The risk of cancer from radon exposure compares to**…WHAT TO DO:
20 pCi/LAbout 36 people could get lung cancer35 times the risk of drowningFix your home
10 pCi/LAbout 18 people could get lung cancer20 times the risk of dying in a home fireFix your home
8 pCi/LAbout 15 people could get lung cancer4 times the risk of dying in a fallFix your home
4 pCi/LAbout 7 people could get lung cancerThe risk of dying in a car crashFix your home
2 pCi/LAbout 4 person could get lung cancerThe risk of dying from poisonConsider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/LAbout 2 people could get lung cancer(Average indoor radon level)(Reducing radon levels below
2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/L(Average outdoor radon level)

Radon is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas produced by the natural decay of Uranium in the soil and to a lesser degree ground water.  Radon is found in all 50 states and levels may vary widely from one neighborhood to another.  The only way to detect radon gas is by radon testing by a professional radon testing company such as Hawley Home Inspections LLC.

Many conditions contribute to the Radon level in your home.  Radon is a gas and performs like any other gas in that it dissipates and seeks the path of least resistance.  Areas with loose soils, sand or gravel deposits or mining operations close to the surface allow radon to rise until they reach the surface.  Similarly, areas that have rock formations close to the surface allow Radon gas to dissipate through cracks and crevices.  Likewise all soil types will allow the gas to rise to the surface many variables determine which path it takes

Radon is measured in pica curies per liter of air and according to the EPA the national average for outside air is 0.4 pCi/L (pica curies per liter).  There are no acceptable levels of Radon concentration however the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the US EPA recommend that levels over 4.0 pCi/L be mitigated.  (The EPA would like to see this level reduced to 2.0 pCi/L)  Unfortunately, setting a level that should not be exceeded of 4.0 pCi/L leads to a false sense of security.  The US EPA believes there is no safe level but accepts the lower the better.

Mitigation involves removing the Radon gas from the soil before it has a chance to enter the home.  Mitigation contractors usually insert a plastic pipe into the soil under a slab or basement floor, seal off sump pumps and other large openings.  A small fan is installed to draw the gas out of the soil and exhaust it to the outside air.  Crawl spaces are prepared in a similar manor.  Radon testing is usually performed again after mitigation to confirm the mitigation equipment is functioning properly

Mitigation involves removing the Radon gas from the soil before it has a chance to enter the home.  Mitigation contractors usually insert a plastic pipe into the soil under a slab or basement floor, seal off sump pumps and other large openings.  A small fan is installed to draw the gas out of the soil and exhaust it to the outside air.  Crawl spaces are prepared in a similar manor.

To have your home tested for high Radon levels contact us at

888-901-8638

or HawleyHomeInspections@gmail.com