23 Oct

Radon Part 1

What is Radon and is it a significant health risk?

10/23/2019 5:30 pm Nexus Home Inspections / Dan Cleary  

Stay informed as Nexus Home Inspections brings this multi-article story to you.

Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from uranium and radium in soils, which can be found worldwide. Uranium is present in rocks such as shale, granite, and phosphate. Uranium breaks down to radium, which in turn decays into radon. This gas easily moves through the soil to the atmosphere and your home. Natural deposits of uranium and radium, not man-made sources, produce most of the radon present in the air.

Radon is found in the soil and air everywhere in varying amounts.

You can not see, taste, feel or smell radon. The human cannot sense the presence of radon.

Radon levels are commonly expressed in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), where a picocurie is a measure of radioactivity. The national average of indoor radon levels in homes is about 1.3pCi/L. Radon levels outdoors, where radon is diluted, average about 0.4pCi/L.

The average home in Cortland County is around 14pCi/L.

(Cortland County Health Department)

NYS DOH Measured Basement, First Floor Screening Radon Levels (Updated October 2019)


                                Level                     Homes  Average

                                Tested                  Tested   pCi/L


CORTLAND          Basement           1,848     14.38     

CORTLAND          1st Floor              927         6.56       

EPA Statement:

Cortland, NY and the 13045 zip code are located in Cortland County, which has an EPA assigned Radon Zone of 1. A radon zone of 1 predicts an average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L, which is above the recommended levels assigned by the EPA. Cortland is located in a high-risk area of the country.

Radon in the soil can accumulate to high levels. Every building or home has the potential for elevated levels of radon. All homes should be tested for radon, even those built with radon-resistant features. EPA recommends taking action to reduce indoor radon levels when levels are 4 pCi/L or higher.

When radon enters a home, it decays into radioactive particles that have a static charge, which attracts them to the particles in the air. These particles can get trapped in your, your children your grand kids lungs when breathing. As the radioactive particles break down further, they release bursts of energy which can damage the DNA in lung tissue. In some cases, if the lung tissue does not repair the DNA correctly, the damage can lead to lung cancer.

The evidence that radon causes lung cancer is extensive and based on human data taken from studies of underground miners carried out over more than 50 years in five countries, including the United States and Canada; human data from studies in homes in many different nations, including the U.S. and Canada; and biological molecular studies.

Radon and your Pets

Radon exposure can actually be even more deadly for dogs and cats because they are in the home much longer throughout the day and night compared to their human companions. The decaying particles of radon gas can be breathed in and then lead to lung cancer in pets.

Radon is classified as a Class A carcinogen (know to cause cancer in humans).  Some other Class A carcinogens are Arsenic, Asbestos, and Benzene. Think about what this could be doing to your family?

Have your home tested today.

Nexus Home Inspections can test your home for radon gasses.

Call or Text Nexus Home Inspections today to find out

if you and your family are living with deadly radon gasses.

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