About Radon Gas, Mold, and Carbon Dioxide
Radon is a radioactive gas that is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It occurs naturally in soils and rocks and enters houses through the foundation or through well water. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing for radon in all houses below the 3rd floor and fixing houses with elevated levels of radon. Pacific Home Inspections, Inc. can test for radon if requested. For more information read the booklet ‘Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon’ published by the EPA. Or download it from our website, 39-page PDF.
We Provide Radon Testing
Below is the first page of a Radon Report from Pacific Home Inspections, Inc. To see the full report please go to “Sample Radon Report, 6-page PDF” or go to Sample Reports, Contract, and Standards of Practice in the footer of this website.
Page 1 of a Radon Report. Click to enlarge.
Sources of Radon Gas
Radon gas is a natural break-down product originating from uranium that occurs in rock, water, and soil. Radon radioactive gas is released into the environment. If you breathe radon gas, it can pose a significant health risk to you, or any other person breathing the radon gas. Radon gas can potentially occur anywhere and can spread into building structures. Any structure is vulnerable, including your home, office or schools. Radon gas within the atmosphere of a structure can build to very high and very dangerous levels.
Why You Should Test for Radon Gas
Radon is a radioactive gas that will cause cancer. You cannot smell radon, nor can you see it, nor taste it. Radon is highly dangerous if present in your home environment. If you breathe air that contains radon, you significantly increase the risk of contracting lung cancer. The U.S. Surgeon General warning on radon gas states that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Radon Testing is the Safe Solution
Testing for radon gas is the recommended procedure for ensuring safe radon levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that every dwelling should undergo a radon test for all floors from the third-floor level downward, including basements and stairways.
Radon gas can be reduced to acceptably safe levels, even when the radon level is very high because there are methods available to remove the radon. If you are in the process of purchasing a home, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a home radon testing inspection to discover the exact level of radon. You can acquire the EPA publication ‘The Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon’ through your state department of health, a local EPA office, or from our website (39-page PDF). The Environmental Protection Agency also recommends that hire a local licensed or certified radon inspector to perform the radon gas test. If the radon level in the home is too high, you should invest in a radon-reduction system or you can install a radon mitigation system that meets EPA’s standards for radon gas reduction within a residential structure.
Radon Gas Risk Factors
The following federal agencies: The Surgeon General, the Environmental Protection Agency and The Center for Disease Control (CDC), all concur that continuous exposure to radon gas significantly elevates the likelihood of developing lung cancer. The EPA, Surgeon General, and CDC also agree that every home should be tested for exposure to radon gas. Any dwelling with a radon gas level above 4 pCi/L (Picocuries per liter) should undergo a radon gas mitigation program.
How Radon Gets Into Your Home
The soil around your home’s foundation typically has a higher air pressure than the air pressure inside the structure. Due to this difference, the structure has a vacuum effect and sucks the radon gas into the structure via openings such as cracks in the foundation or bare ground underneath the structure. Radon can also occur in water supplies, especially well water, so when you use water for cleaning dishes, shower or bath, the radon gas is released into the environment.
Also, poor window seals can allow radon leakage, as well as cause major loss of heat or cooling from your home. It’s important to find these trouble spots and replace windows where necessary. We recommend, for window replacement in Portland – Four Seasons Contracting to ensure proper window sealing to prevent radon problems and to make certain your home does not lose heating or cooling.
Mildew, mold or fungus growing in any building is a sign of a moisture problem. The source of the moisture should be found and corrected. Some types of mold have been linked to health effects for some people. Effects range from mild to severe. You can find more information on the internet from the CDC at (link no longer works) and from the EPA at (Link no longer leads to the correct place).
Carbon monoxide, which can be fatal, can be produced by anything with a flame (such as ranges, dryers, fireplaces, furnaces, and water heaters). All gas appliances should be professionally serviced on a regular basis. See the manufacturer’s instructions. You are strongly encouraged to install carbon monoxide detectors. They are readily available from hardware stores at a reasonable cost.