Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be a major problem in your home if present at higher levels. It is quite difficult for people to accept that the only place they look for comfort and security can also pose a significant danger to one’s health. The average level for radon gas in the outdoors is 0.4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). However, most residential homes draw radon gas from the ground that tends to build up on lower floors such as basements. This article provides information on radon and if 1.9 pCi/L is a safe level for radon gas in a home.
Acceptable Radon Levels
The plain truth about the safest level of radon gas in a home is no radon gas. However, we cannot avoid it completely because it is always present even in the outdoors. The only thing we can control is the level to reduce the health risks associated with radon. The level of radon gas that we breathe outside our home ranges from 0.02 to 0.75 pCi/L.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should consider fixing your home if your radon gas level reaches 2 pCi/L. The maximum limit for taking action against radon gas is when it reaches 4 pCi/L. Since the EPA never forced homeowners to install expensive mitigation systems for radon, it left the decision to each homeowner. Furthermore, it still warns the public that the 4 pCi/L action limit is not “safe”.
1.9 pCi/ L is still not “safe” but partly acceptable as it is under the average mark. However, you should consider taking action at this stage to reduce radon gas since lower numbers translate to lower risk. Keep in mind that any radon exposure can have some risk of causing health problems in the upper respiratory system. Therefore, the lower level it is from 1.9pCi/L, the lower risk it poses for you and your family.
The Risk of Living with Radon Gas
70% of people spend most of their time at home. This number is majorly comprised of women and young children. The 1.9pCi/L radon gas level may seem like a reasonable number to some but it raises health concerns and the need for taking remedial action. Although real estate transactions use the 4 pCi/L as the standard benchmark during construction, it is not considered safe because it still carries considerable risks.
Radon is soluble in blood, which means it can easily circulate through the lungs and other major organs around the body. Estimates of health risks associated with radon gas are based on cancer studies in humans, especially underground miners. Not everyone exposed to higher radon levels at one point in time develops lung cancer. However, people who have been exposed for prolonged periods suffer the greatest impact on damaged lung tissue that leads to cancer.
How to Lower the Radon Gas Level in Your Home
It is still possible to lower your radon gas level below 1.9 pCi/L. Remember, the safest level of radon gas in a home is no radon gas, and the lower the gas level the lower the risk of exposure. There are plenty of methods for reducing radon gas levels in your home. However, the commonly used method involves a fan and a vent pipe system that works by extracting radon from your house and channeling it to the outdoors.
This kind of system is cost-efficient and more effective because it seals foundation cracks in your home. If you have several crawl spaces, you can also use this system and other methods that work in your home. The right system of radon gas extraction depends on several factors including your home design. The cost of undertaking this project depends on the extent of the radon problem and how your home was built. It is important to get estimates from qualified experts or consult with your state radon office to save on costs and avoid rip-offs.
No level of radon gas is perceived as “completely” safe. However, we need to balance the costs and benefits in life to find our “acceptable” levels. 1.9pCi/L is not a safe radon level for your home but is considered acceptable as long as you contemplate taking remedial action to prevent higher radon gas levels. Performing a simple radon test can provide the necessary information you need to make an informed decision about the acceptable level of radon gas exposure in your home. If radon levels are found to be high, consider reaching out to removal experts.