Did you know that Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer? Maybe that explains why so many who do not smoke have lung cancer! If you smoke and have radon in your home, your odds are even worse for contracting lung cancer. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste radon, yet it might be found in your home. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by radon each year. Radon-induced lung cancer costs the United States over $2 billion dollars per year in health care costs.
According to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure.
A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/l is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure)
Another shocking statistic: An elementary school student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/l of radon will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant.(25 mrem limit, 200 mrem exposure) Most scientists agree that the risk of death for radon at 4 pCi/l is approximately 1 in 100. At the 4 pCi/l EPA action guideline level, radon carries approximately 1000 times the risk of death as any other EPA carcinogen. It is important to note that there are no “safe” levels of radon gas.
What can you do to stop radon gas from entering your home? A properly installed vapor retarder plus will block virtually all radon gas from entering your living space whether installed underslab, in a crawl space or a basement.