Radon Risk Intrusion Areas

Radon gases can exit
through the shower.

Radon can enter the home
through cracks in the foundation.

Radon is in the soil
below your home.

Radon can travel through your
sump pump and water fittings.

The risk of exposure

From Mining Uranium to home exposure

The risk of long-term exposure to radon gas has been known since the early days of mining uranium and other radioactive materials. It was not until 1984, however, that it was discovered that high concentrations of radon could be found in homes. To read more about this discovery, read our blog: The Story of How Radon Was Discovered in Homes.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, noble, (inert) gas, that is part of the radioactive decay chain of Uranium the only element in the decay chain that exists in gaseous form. As such, breathing radon gas in and out has no deleterious effect. However, when these radioactive elements decay (known as the “half life”) they give off 3 main types of radiation: gamma (as common in X-rays), beta and alpha radiation or particles. Radon has a “half life” of just under 4 days and then decays into other elements, such as polonium, bismuth, and lead. Each of these elements have “half lives” of minutes and seconds and at each stage of decay these radioactive “daughters” emit the same three kinds of radiation, with the alpha particle being the most dangerous as it can penetrate a layer of skin.

what happens

when you breathe high levels of radon

So here is what happens when you breathe air in your home that may contain high levels of radon. First of all, some radon gas may be breathed straight in and out again with no harmful effect. Some radon gas may be breathed in at the point where it decays and alpha particles hit the lung tissue. Perhaps some of the daughters (isotopes of polonium, bismuth and lead) have attached themselves to dust particles which you breathe in with the air and they in turn decay and give off more alpha radiation that hits the lung tissue. Over time, and depending on levels of radon present in the air, damage can occur to the lung tissue and lead to tumors that may become cancerous.

The bright side is that radon gas problems can be fixed. If radon is present in a home it can be blocked with a radon mitigation system. These systems are permanently installed soil depressurization systems. They are not obtrusive and relatively inexpensive. At Radon Environmental Services, we install the highest quality radon mitigation systems that protect your home from this cancer causing gas.


radon maps

Radon gas can be detected in homes, schools and buildings throughout the U.S. The only way to know is to test for it. As we have mentioned before, your neighbors could have radon levels that are extremely high and your home could have radon levels near zero. Don’t avoid testing for radon because someone told you it’s not in your area. Testing is relatively inexpensive and could save a life.

The purpose of these maps is to assist National, State, and local organizations to target their resources and to implement radon-resistant building codes. These maps are not intended to be used to determine if a home in a given zone should be tested for radon. Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones and all homes should be tested regardless of geographic location. Radon test results and statistics are available from the Ohio Department of Health.