In my last few blogs I mentioned that one of the side benefits of installing a moisture level system to control floor slab heave is that it also controls radon gas. So what exactly they mean by that?
First of all, what is radon gas? It is a radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium. As uranium decays it goes through a number of elements as it loses protons and neutrons from uranium to radium to radon to polonium. As it reaches the radon stage it is a gas that is still radioactive that has a half-life of 3 to 4 days. If the gas is breathed in it can stick to your lungs and as it goes through a further decay process it can eject alpha particles that can cause lung damage and lung cancer. As houses become more tightly sealed for energy conservation purposes the natural result is to create negative pressure that inevitably brings gases into the house from below the surface.
Is is a common occurrence? As a matter of fact lung cancer is the leading cause of all deaths by cancer in the United States more than breast cancer more than prostate cancer or any other type of cancer. The EPA estimates that from radon gas there are 21,000 deaths a year in the United States. More than is killed by drunk driving. But because it it occurs on an individual basis it is seldom talked about in the news.
So how common is this in Arizona? The EPA places Arizona in the middle category of three categories in terms of occurrence. Here in the desert climates the average home has a one in 10 chance of having high radon levels. If you live in the higher elevations of Arizona your chances may increase to one in three.
The Surgeon General of the United States has recommended that every home be tested for radon. This is a fairly easy and inexpensive process. We are certified to offer this testing and mitigation options for your home.