About
Radon

Second Leading Cause
of Lung Cancer

smoking-cigarette

Same as Half a Pack a Day

if at 4.0 pCi/L*

cigarette-package

Radon is a radioactive, odorless, tasteless, colorless, Class A carcinogen gas. It comes from the natural decay of radium in the soil, and can enter buildings through cracks or even penetrate concrete. When inhaled, radon particles change DNA in the lungs. Over the course of years, radon exposure can dramatically increase the chance of lung cancer.

Over a third of all buildings in Northern Illinois have radon levels over 4.0 pCi/L, the level at which the EPA warns you to take action and protect yourself from the dangers of radon. Inhaling this level of radon is roughly the same lung cancer exposure as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day. * Environmental Protection Agency

Worse Than Most Think

1,100
in Illinois

Every year over 1,000 people die in Illinois from radon-induced lung cancer. 21,000 people die every year nationwide.

Nat. Cancer Institute’s 2010 Surveillance.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency – “Teacher Presentation.”

1,100
in Illinois

Deaths per year

More die from radon than home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning combined. It is the number one preventable home death cause.

EPA’s“ACitizen’sGuidetoRadon”.

1,100
in Illinois

Like with other topics, there are websites and posts that indicate that the radon issue is a hoax. Most all of their logic is based upon looking at very old and select research. CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE RESEARCH

It’s Here!

All
Counties
High

Research indicates all Chicagoland counties have high radon levels. At right are the percentage of homes that would fail a radon test.

1 in 3+
Homes

In the western suburbs, an average of more than one in every three homes is likely to have high radon. Some neighborhoods are less, while some neighborhoods have radon in each home.

Test
Everywhere

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TEST IF YOU LIVE ANYWHERE in northern Illinois. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency tracks radon levels in the state. If you would like to look up your area clixk map at right.

Persistent Intruder

Through
the
Concrete

While a lot of radon enters a building through cracks in the foundation and the sump pump pit, if these are sealed, it can penetrate through the concrete and through most floor coverings and coatings.

How It Harms

Breath It In

We breath the radon gas in, and along with it radioactive particles (referred to as progeny). These radioactive particles enter you lungs.

Smashes
DNA

We breath the radon gas in, and along with it radioactive particles (referred to as progeny). These radioactive particles enter you lungs. The radioactive particles in radon gas, damage the DNA inside your lungs. Your body has the ability to repair this damage, but as the cycle repeats itself, (typically after 10- 25 years) the odds that it incorrectly fixes the DNA increases.

Damaged
DNA =
Cancer

The damaged DNA contributes to lung cancer.

History

Been
Around

Discovered in 1900 by Friedrich Ernst, radon was linked almost immediately to lung issues with miners exposed to very high doses. But the tie between radon in buildings and lung cancer was not heavily researched until 1984.

Decay
Chain

Radon is produced as part of the decay chain of Uranium 238. Each step of the decay process produces a different element with a different half-life. Uranium 238 has a half life of 4.47 billions years. Radium 226 has a half-life of about 1,600 years. Radon 222 has a half-life of about 3.48 days before it turns into Polonium 218. The decay continues until Lead 210 is achieved. Radon in a building decays over a few days, but more is entering all the time.

Thanks,
Stanley

In 1984, a worker by the name of Stanley Watras, set off a radiation detector while helping build a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. However, there was no radioactive material in the plant yet. They tested his house and found very high levels of radon. This sparked intensive research into the prevalence of indoor radon and its effects.

Extensive
Research

The research over the following years established an undeniable link between radon and lung cancer. They even recently, have begun to identify the DNA damage that is strictly radon induced. CLICK HERE TO SEE RESEARCH

Overwhelming
Consensus

All major health organizations, warn of health risk of elevated indoor radon and recommend testing and mitigation.

Free, no obligation mitigation system design

Did you Know...?

  • Eddie’s Story


    True story. Unfortunately one of many.
    Click Here

  • Don’t Freak

    Radon is dangerous, but exposure for short periods of time is not considered overly harmful. Your mitigation system will keep radon levels low.

  • 4.0 Magic Number

    The EPA suggested action level is 4.0 pC/iL. This means that any radon levels at or above 4.0 should have a system. This the same level used as a decision point for most real estate transactions .

  • Not So Magic

    While 4.0pCi/L is used most often, there is no true safe level of radon. The World Health Organization uses 2.7 as their action level. Levels below 1.0 are saometimes very hard to reach with a radon systems but below 2.7 are frequently achieved.

  • Depends on Use

    If you are selling your property, 4.0 should be your guideline. If you are staying in the building, consider how you use your lowest level. If people spend a lot of time there, especially sleeping or sitting, or if children frequently play in this area, you may want to ask our System Designer about reaching a lower number, perhaps under 3.0 pCi/L.

  • Long-Term Issue

    If you are selling your property, 4.0 should be your guideline. If you are staying in the building, consider how you use your lowest level. If people spend a lot of time there, especially sleeping or sitting, or if children frequently play in this area, you may want to ask our System Designer about reaching a lower number, perhaps under 3.0 pCi/L.

  • Ambient Numbers

    To get a feel for how your radon level compares; the level of radon that you might experience while walking in northern Illinois usually ranges from below .5 to 2.0 pCi/l.

  • High Numbers

    To further build a reference, radon numbers in northern Illinois over 50.0 are very rare. Numbers over about 25.0 are considered very high. Numbers under 10.0 are the most common.

  • Children Impacted More

    Children are more adversely effected. This is primarily because their noses are closer to the floor and apt to inhale stronger doses of radon particles. This is especially true if they are crawling or playing on the floor.

  • Drops Every Floor

    Various factors may influence it,
    but as a general rule of thumb, radon levels tend to drop in half for each floor above the lowest level. For instance, a 12.0 pCi/L reading in the basement, would mean about a 6 on the first floor and a 3 on the second floor.

  • Changes Year by Year

    Every two years, you should check your radon levels. Radon levels can change dramatically over the years. An amount of Radium in your soil may be on the verge of it’s next decay step and may produce radon in large amounts in the near future.

  • Deadly
    Combination

    If you smoke, and live with high radon, your lung cancer risk jumps dramatically. For instance. At 4.0 pCi/L radon level, 7 in 1,000 non-smokers will get lung cancer. For smokers that number jumps to 62. www.lung-cancer.com