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Published On: Wed, Jan 24th, 2024

The Top Six Reasons You Should Continuously Monitor Your Home for Radon

By Insoo Park, Founder and CEO — Ecosense

The most important reason people should continuously monitor their homes for radon is that it can cause lung cancer. Exposure to radon has even been proven to be fatal.

But that isn’t the only reason. Below, I will explain the top six reasons you should monitor your home for radon on a continuous basis.

photo/ tinyhouselife

Reason #1: Monitor Radon to Avoid Cancer

The stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to radon, which is a known human carcinogen. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for radon-related lung cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), radon is responsible for roughly 21,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

Radon can cause problems even when found at lower levels. As the US National Library of Medicine’s WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon states: “There is no known threshold concentration below which radon exposure presents no risk. Even low concentrations of radon can result in a small increase in the risk of lung cancer. The majority of radon-induced lung cancers are caused by low and moderate radon concentrations rather than by high radon concentrations.”

Given these serious health risks, every homeowner should eliminate radon from their home to protect themselves and their family.

Reason #2: Monitor Radon to Protect Children

Children appear to be particularly vulnerable to radon. The CDC states: “The risk of lung cancer in children resulting from exposure to radon may be almost twice as high as the risk to adults exposed to the same amount of radon.” Due to children’s smaller lungs and quicker breathing, they may take in larger amounts of radon than adults even when exposed to the same amount.

The effects of radon can be severe for children. For instance, the National Institutes of Health has published several multiple studies with evidence linking radon exposure to childhood leukemia.

Reason #3: Nearly All Homes are at Risk of Radon

Modern homes have been built to be energy efficient, but they are not radon-proof. Radon is found in all kinds of homes and in all areas of the country. No home is exempt from this threat — not even new ones. That’s because radon can enter the building through any tiny opening; not just cracks in the foundation but also through the normal empty space around pipes and cables, or the joints where the floor meets the walls. It can even get in through the water supply.

That said, residences that are primarily on the ground floor are at the greatest risk. While radon gas does rise, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General say that homes above the third floor do not require testing or monitoring for radon.

Reason #4: Insurance Doesn’t Cover Damages from Radon

The majority of homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover radon mitigation. They also don’t cover medical expenses related to radon exposure because radon gas is naturally occurring. Most home insurance policies are only designed to cover sudden events or accidents. 

As such, insurance companies consider radon monitoring and remediation to be simple maintenance issues. This means you are responsible for testing, monitoring, and mitigating radon in a timely fashion in your home.

Reason #5: Monitoring Radon is Necessary

Radon cannot be detected by the human senses. It has no smell, taste, or sound, and it is invisible.

Not even physical symptoms of diseases such as lung cancer can act as a bellwether for radon. As the CDC explains, “It takes many years for lung cancer to develop. Most people don’t have symptoms until lung cancer is advanced, and at that point, it is harder to treat. For these reasons, it is important to take steps to reduce radon exposure throughout your life to help prevent lung cancer.”

The only way to tell if radon is present in your home is to test for it. Test kits may be purchased from hardware stores and online retailers at affordable prices — usually between $20 and $100. Homeowners can use these without having to hire a professional. 

The amount that is drawn into our home can change for many reasons. For example, seasonal changes in the weather, wind, precipitation, air pressure, shifting soil—even earthquakes and local construction mean the rate of radon entry is constantly fluctuating. That’s why a single test is inadequate. Even conducting multiple tests throughout the year could open your family to risk. To ensure your home is safe, the best approach is to use a monitor to track the radon levels on a continual basis.

Reason #6: Monitoring Radon is Easy and Inexpensive

The good news is that the cost of constantly monitoring is now quite affordable. Radon monitors that last for years are available for less than $200. Some of these are small plug-and-play monitors with digital displays that can track radon in real time and be read at a glance. Others not only monitor continuously but are also connected to wifi, enabling you to follow your home’s radon levels right from your smartphone.

With continual monitoring for radon, you will have peace of mind that your home is safe. If radon ever does become a problem, you will know immediately and be able to act without delay.

Hopefully, your home will never develop a radon problem, but if it does, solutions exist. Radon mitigation systems can range in price but are often less than $1,500. These should usually be installed by a professional. If you do choose to install it yourself, you will need to ensure you follow any local building codes.

Still Need a Reason to Monitor for Radon?

Many people neglect to monitor their homes for radon due to simple ignorance. No one likes to think that a deadly and silent gas might be infiltrating their home, but it’s better to have the peace of mind that it isn’t rather than the worry that it is.

Monitoring radon levels is easy and inexpensive, so take action today and buy a radon monitor. This simple task can save you from a lifetime of regret.

Insoo Park is CEO of Ecosense Inc., an innovator in the radon gas monitoring industry providing people peace of mind through its intelligent and highly accurate radon detectors for homes, educational campuses, assisted living centers, community centers, and commercial buildings. The company’s smart real-time radon detectors utilize a patented ion chamber detection technology with high-accuracy performance capable of delivering the first radon result in minutes not days.

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