Radon

Obtaining radon testing is one of the most important steps you can take to protect the health of your family when buying a home in Vermont.

One In Seven Homes In Vermont Has Elevated Levels of Radon

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer after smoking.

The following information is from the Vermont Dept. of Health website :

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no color, odor or taste. Unless you test for it, there is no way of knowing if radon is present in your home. Radon results from the decay of uranium—a radioactive element found naturally in the Earth’s crust. Over billions of years, uranium decays into radium, and eventually, radon. Radon is present in outdoor air,and radon levels can build up inside people’s homes.

How does radon enter a home?

Radon may be present in both soil and water. Soil is the most common source of radon in your home.

Radon in air: Since radon is typically found in soil, it moves up through the ground and into the air of your home through cracks in the foundation. Homes can act like large chimneys, with warm air rising and escaping out upper floor windows and through cracks in the attic. This creates a vacuum at the lowest level of the home, which can pull in radon from the soil.

Radon in water: Well water that contains radon may also increase the level of radon in indoor air. Activities like taking showers, doing laundry or running the dishwasher can release radon dissolved in water into the air. The amount of radon in a home depends on many factors including geology, construction, mechanical systems and the way the building is used.High levels of radon have been found in all types of homes in every area of Vermont. The likelihood of a radon problem cannot be predicted by the style, age, or location of a home.

What are the health effects of being exposed to radon in a home?: Everyone is exposed to some radon in indoor and outdoor air. Breathing air with radon increases a person’s risk of getting lung cancer. A person’s lung cancer risk due to radon depends on the level of radon in the air they breathe, how long they are exposed, and whether or not they are a smoker. If you smoke and your home has high levels of radon, your risk of getting lung cancer is especially high. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, radon is estimated to cause between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Over a lifetime, ingesting radon in water also poses a risk of stomach cancer. However, the major danger posed by radon in water is the risk of lung cancer when radon escapes from the water and is inhaled. The risk of stomach cancer due to drinking water with high levels of radon is small compared to the risk of lung cancer from breathing air that has high levels of radon.

How To Test For Radon?

Cottonwood Home Inspections offers professional level radon testing that follows the EPA’s guidelines for real estate transactions.

We use continuous electronic radon monitors that provide instantaneous results after the minimum testing period.

Tests run for between 2 to 7 days under “closed home conditions” (meaning normal entry and exit, but not leaving windows and doors open).

At the end of the test, we will provide you with an instant report that gives you overall radon levels as well as hourly readings throughout the length of the test.