Radon Testing and Analysis
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which comes from the decay of Uranium in the Earth. You cannot see it, smell it, or taste it. Radon seeps through small spaces in soil and rock, comes to the ground surface and infiltrates our air and well water supplies.
Radon Exposure Risks
The primary health risk from radon is lung cancer from inhalation of the radon and its decay products. Radon in water is a risk primarily when released to the air and subsequently inhaled (It is estimated that the risk of stomach cancer from the ingestion of water containing radon is only about one-tenth as great as the risk of lung cancer).
Radon in outside air is generally not a problem since it is diluted. When radon seeps into enclosed spaces, such as our homes and other buildings, it can accumulate to much higher levels. The level of radon in the home can vary greatly depending on soil and water radon levels,home construction and living habits. A well-built home does not mean a lower risk, nor does a well-insulated home imply a higher risk.
US EPA Recommendations
The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated radon levels. USEPA therefore recommends that all homes be tested to determine if a radon problem exists. If the annual average level exceeds 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/l), USEPA recommends that remedial action be taken to lower the level.
The EPA has recently proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 300 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) for radon in water. If passed, this proposed MCL will apply only to Community Water Systems, not to private wells; the federal Safe Drinking Water Act only authorizes regulation of public drinking water supplies.
How is Radon Detected?
Since you cannot see or smell radon, special equipment is needed to detect it. The most popular EPA-approved method for testing for radon in air is screening test using acanister. The canister is exposed to the air in the home for a two-day period and sent to a laboratory for analysis. To test for radon in water, a sample of the well water needs to be obtained from as close to the source as practical and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Our laboratory facility utilizes state-of-the-art radiation detection equipment operated by highly skilled professionals. Strict quality control procedures are adhered to for the detection system operation. Our highly sensitive system allows for accurate measurements down to at least 0.5 pCi/l. RSCS provides through-the-mail water and air test kits for $35.00 each*. Price includes postage and analysis.
*(RSCS currently is not registered to perform radon testing in the following states: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia)
For more information about Radon and its relative risks, please call the EPA's Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS-RADON (1-800-767-7236), or visit there site at epa.gov/radon