Category Archives: Radon

Radon and our children

In my many roles as a Radon Mitigation Professional, Radon Awareness Advocate, Blogger and Educator, my most important title is Father. From the day they are conceived to our last breath, they become our focus, our reason for everything and in my case, my greatest accomplishment! The tremendous responsibility that comes along with being a Father, a provider, a protector weighs on a heart. It was when my Wife was pregnant with our Daughter that I discovered Radon in my own home. Our home tested at 13.8 pci/L, that’s nearly 3.5 times the recommended action limit  – and from that day it changed my professional focus.

So are children at a greater risk from Radon? Multiple studies from the American Cancer Society, the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences tells us this, children’s’ lung shape and size differences may matter. We know that the respiratory rate for a child can vary greatly of that of an adult. With that being said, children are ingesting air at a greater rate than an adult. Studies argue back and forth with conviction as to the answer to this question. So let’s look at what we do know.

The science behind Radon Gas is the half-life of the radioactive element and thus the decay products that evolve. Half-life is described as the time it takes for the element to disintegrate to half of its original amount. Radon’s half life is 3.82 days and because the source of radon gas can be continually supplied, elevated levels may occur in homes and buildings. As radon decays it produces alpha particles.  Those alpha particles adhere to dust and as we breathe, we ingest these particles into our thin lung tissue.  In healthy individuals, our bodies will slough off the particles, cells split at a normal rate, but in some cases the alpha particles can remain and it continues to form radioactive decay causing tissue damage and abnormal cells. Over time, this presents the opportunity for lung cancer to develop.

That’s a lot of heavy science stuff. Your take away should be this. Radon Gas is a real problem in many areas of the country. Here in Illinois it is our Mother Nature burden to bear and can be found in every county. Remember it all starts with a simple test. If you learn of elevated radon levels in your home contact a Radon Mitigation Contractor for assistance. This is a fixable problem,  you do not need to live with elevated levels. Contact the State of Illinois’ IEMA division for a local professional near you.

Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC is a licensed and certified Radon Mitigation contractor through the State of Illinois’ IEMA Division.

radon basement myth

Radon Basement Myth Busted!

In my field of work, I get the privilege of speaking to all kinds of people. It never ceases to amaze me that not a week goes by that I don’t hear…”I’m not too worried about Radon, we really don’t use our basement much.” I have to remind myself “two ears and one mouth” as I listen to their justification. Even more scary, their belief! Now, in my line of work, my customers range from homeowners, sellers and buyers in real estate, renters, stay at home Mom’s, the young, the old and everyone in between. It doesn’t much seem to matter what line of work or background they come from, the overall consensus is it’s just a problem for them.

I consider myself a Radon Awareness Advocate, an Educator, a Radon Mitigation Professional and now my most recent venture…a Radon Blogger. I’m on a quest to bust this popular “myth” about Radon and whether or not it’s a problem in your home.

The truth is, in this scenario the basement just happens to be the entry point. Although some people only spend a small portion of their time in their basement, the air in the basement doesn’t stay contained.

Radon is likely present in every level of the house depending on a few things. The number one cause of Radon entering your home comes from the forces that will draw the gases in. There is natural negative pressure that will draw the gas in through your basement floor. These are the same forces that continue to bring the air up through the upper levels of the house (i.e. convection).

The other big contributing factor is duct work. Most modern day homes are built with duct work in place. If there is a furnace or duct work located in the basement, anytime you are using your furnace fan via heat or air conditioning, these systems are then circulating this conditioned air throughout the house. So in other words, basement air doesn’t just stay in the basement!

The only way to know if a Radon problem exists in your home is to test. You can either test yourself with a home test kit or hire a professional Radon Testing company. Either way you can’t go wrong, and to quote the famous Sir Francis Bacon, “knowledge is power.”

Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC is a licensed and certified Radon Mitigation contractor through the State of Illinois’ IEMA Division.