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We often get asked what is a safe and acceptable level of radon gas? The fact of the matter is that this is really two separate questions. The first being “what is a safe level?” and the second being “what is an acceptable level?”

Answering the first question first is easiest. Simply put, a safe level of radon is having no radon present at all. This is because radon is a carcinogen. It causes lung cancer, and any amount of radon exposure can increase your risk. The lower your radon levels, the lower your risk of lung cancer. The average person is exposed to more radiation within their own home than from their combined exposure to all other radiation sources, both natural & manmade, outside of the home. The national average of outside radon levels is .4 pCi/L. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that outdoor radon levels cause approximately 800 of the 21,000 radon induced lung cancer deaths in the US each year. Your lung cancer risk jumps by 16% per 2.7 pCi/L increase in radon exposure. 

This brings us to our second question. An acceptable level of radon gas is the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L. The Radon Act 51 passed by Congress set the natural outdoor level as the target level for indoor levels. However, 2 out of 3 homes exceed this level. Because of this, the EPA was tasked with setting practical guidelines. When your home is at or above 4.0 pCi/L it is highly recommended that you take corrective action to lower the levels of radon in your home.

It has been estimated that a nationwide reduction in radon levels by 2 pCi/L would likely reduce yearly lung cancer deaths attributed to radon by 50%, from 21,000 to 10,500. The WHO agrees that radon exposure is a major and growing public health threat & urges countries to adopt an action level of 2.7 pCi/L.

As you can see, a safe level of radon is very different definition from an acceptable level of radon. The best way to find out what the level of radon is in your home is to have it tested. A radon mitigation system can help reduce levels of radon within your home. Call today for more information: 630-554-1492.

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