Radon in Air
: Radon Blog :
Radon gas is all around us in small amounts. Outside, the level of radon gas in your yard is probably around 2.0 pCi/L or less. Because the gas seeps up in the soil it is able to enter basements through porus slabs, seams where walls meet floors, or through other cracks and holes. Years ago the issue was not so great, due to drafty leaky basements that kept the radon from gathering in large quantities. But with todays tight, energy efficient homes, the levels of radon within the home can creep up drastically.
Radon gas in air is recognized as the most lethal form of radon. The daily breathing in of radon gas is estimated to cause upwards of 20,000 deaths per year due to lung cancer. In fact, it is the second most common cause of lung cancer next to smoking in the USA. Spending an average 70% of your time in a home with a measurement of 4.0 pCi/L, the suggested federal action point for Radon in a house, would be the equal to smoking 10 cigarettes per day. To put it another way, at this action level you increase the risk of lung cancer by 50%. At a level of 10pCi/L your radio active esposure is equivalent to having 500 chest x-rays per year. At 20pCi/L you may as well be smoking 2 packs of cigarets per day.
Even though air radon is considered quite dangerous, it is also the least expensive form to reduce. These reduction techniques are discussed in the Mitigation link up above