Radon Warning Statement
Radon gas levels in Alabama are higher than the national average. According to the Surgeon General, “Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families.” Radon gas is also the leading cause of lung cancer in never smokers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than twice as many deaths occur from radon induced lung cancer every year than drunk driving deaths.
In fact, nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the United States, whether new or used, have elevated radon levels. The “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Surgeon General, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend that ALL homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchase or taking occupancy, and recommend having the radon levels mitigated if elevated radon concentrations are found.”
The only way to know if your home or building contains dangerous radon levels is to have a valid test performed. The EPA strongly recommends mitigating radon exposure in your home if a test shows levels of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. Radon gas levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a health risk. The World Health Organization recommends radon mitigation for homes with average readings above 2.7 pCi/L. And two-thirds of all radon induced lung cancer deaths come from levels below the EPA action level.
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay or uranium found in the underlying soil and rocks. Pressure differentials cause radon laden soil gas to be drawn in through openings in the foundation. Radon enters most easily by passing through permeable soil areas or through drainage systems into a home. Gas levels vary considerably from house-to-house and room-to-room. Radon decay particles damage lung tissue over time, which can lead to lung cancer. Fortunately, radon gas can be tested for and mitigated as needed to protect occupants.