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Radioactive radon gas is a silent killer that can make its way into any house, permeating through the soil and through foundation cracks and gaps. Whether your primary living space is built on a concrete slab, a basement foundation or a crawl space, high concentrations of radon are possible. Because radon emanates naturally from soil and rock, no building is immune to radon contamination.
Unfortunately, many people become victims of radon's radioactivity, developing lung cancer that is usually fatal. In the U.S., over 21,000 individuals die every year because of radon exposure. To protect your family from potentially lethal radon exposure, start by having your house tested for radon.
It's not difficult or expensive to have your house tested for radon. You can use a DIY radon test kit (available from many hardware stores, home centers and some local health departments). But many homeowners elect to have the radon test performed by a radon mitigation specialist. Either way, you can expect accurate results if you follow the simple test procedures.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon test results that show an exposure level above 4 picocuries per liter of air indicate that a mitigation system should be installed. The "actionable" radon level established by the World Health Organization is even lower, at 3 pCi/L. Fortunately, there are proven radon abatement techniques that enable experienced radon mitigation specialists to attain acceptable low radon levels –even when test results show extremely high levels of radon exposure.
Any medical doctor will quickly point out the importance of basic health tests. A physician hates to say "I wish you had come to me sooner." The same can be said about testing a house for radon. Don't guess or hope that your house has low radon levels. Get tested so you can cross radon off your list of health risks.
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