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What New Homeowners Should Know About Radon Detection Technology

A home inspection is a valuable part of the home-buying process. It identifies issues that could detract from a home’s value and uncovers safety hazards that need to be addressed.

Radon testing is a common component of home inspections that seeks to detect elevated levels of indoor radon gas. Known as the “silent killer,” radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can cause lung cancer. Elevated levels of this airborne radiation  are one of the most serious t home health  hazards. 

“Worldwide , radon is estimated to cause 84,000 deaths each year,” reports Insoo Park, CEO of Ecosense. “It’s the leading cause of lung cancer among people who don’t smoke and strikes victims with very little warning. Fortunately, radon-induced lung cancer is a threat that can be easily eliminated  by  continuous radon monitoring and proper mitigation. And today’s technology makes radon monitoring more accurate and affordable than ever.”

Ecosense is a global leader in radon monitoring technology, providing cutting-edge solutions to both consumers and professionals. These include intelligent and highly accurate digital radon monitors for homes, apartments, schools, and commercial buildings. Ecosense radon monitors give  unparalleled peace of mind by offering fast and reliable data on real-time radon level readings on an ongoing basis.

“A short-term radon test during the home inspection is necessary  for a quick evaluation, but it won’t provide an adequate characterization of one’s radon exposure risk over time”, Park explains. “Since indoor radon concentrations are constantly changing, continuous  monitoring with detection technology sensitive enough to identify radon fluctuations is necessary to  alert homeowners if and when  levels rise for extended periods of time.”

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive element released into the environment when radium decays. Radium  can be found in most soils and rocks. In outdoor settings, radon dilutes  into the atmosphere, preventing it from presenting a significant health risk.

Radon enters buildings through cracks and other openings in foundations and slabs where it can accumulate to dangerous levels. Prolonged  exposure to elevated  radon levels the attacks the  lung tissue by emitting powerful alpha particles directly to the cells.  This alpha bombardment can result in lung cancer.

 Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in the US among non-smokers, responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths per year. Unfortunately, lung cancer may not show symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage from radon gas,” Park shares. “And radon-related lung cancer can strike anyone. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 out of every 15 homes in the US has elevated levels of radon. Lung cancer caused by radon gas is totally preventable. Homeowners must take the threat seriously and address it with reliable radon monitoring technology.”

How should radon be monitored?

Radon testing during a home inspection often  involves easy-to-use radon testing kits that capture air samples in activated charcoal. The samples are then sent to a lab for analysis. This type of testing has several drawbacks, the most significant being the limited period for which it provides only a single integrated radon average..

“A two-day radon test carried out under closed-house conditions is typically the best a homebuyer can hope for as part of the inspection process,” Park says. “This provides a brief snapshot that does not account for the considerable fluctuations that can occur in radon levels over time. To get a clear picture of the radon risk, homeowners should utilize digital radon monitors that provide real-time readings on an ongoing basis.”

Several factors can lead to radon  variations, including seasonal weather patterns and temperature changes. In colder months, a process known as the stack effect draws higher volumes of soil gas  into homes. 

Modern radon detection technology allows users to view real-time data via mobile devices, providing continuous and dynamic data that can reveal threats left undiscovered by a one-time, short-term test.

To obtain accurate readings, homeowners should also utilize radon monitors that provide a high level of precision. Radon monitors should be sensitive enough to give readings that are at least 90 percent accurate within 10 hours of being activated.

The bottom line is that new homeowners should know that the risk of radon exposure exists in every home, regardless of its age, structure or geographic location, meaning an investment in long-term radon monitoring is a valuable safeguard against a dangerous threat. 

“It has been repeatedly demonstrated that long-term exposure to elevated levels of radon gas significantly increases the risk of lung cancer,” warns Park. “Avoiding the deadly consequences can be as easy as committing to continuous radon monitoring.”

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