Real Estate 101: Radon - what you should know about this deadly gas
Radon is a naturally occurring odorless gas that comes from soil and rock. High Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. behind cigarette smoking.
How does Radon get in your house?
Radon enters the home through cracks and holes in the foundation. All homes have some level of Radon (including new construction) but some homes have excessively high levels and that is when it becomes dangerous.
Should you test your home for Radon?
You can test your home anytime for Radon, but most people test their home during the home buying process. It's a really simple test and only takes a few days to administer and get results. If results come back with levels higher than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air), then you should get your home mitigated.
What if my home has high levels of Radon?
If your home has high levels, then you need to get a mitigation system. Contact a mitigation specialist to schedule installation. While you are waiting for the system to be installed, keep a window open in each room to make sure there is enough ventilation. (In Massachusetts, homes built after 2015 are required to have passive mitigation system)
To learn more about Radon, check out this infographic from the CDC and this Fact Sheet from Massachusetts Bureau of Environmental Health.