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Should I Get a Radon Test in Chicago?

What is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced naturally from the decay of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which means that it cannot be detected by human senses, making it all the more dangerous.

Why is it Dangerous?

Radon Risk in the US

Radon gas is a known carcinogen and is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. According to the EPA, it is estimated that radon exposure causes more than 21,000 deaths from lung cancer each year in the United States alone.

Radon is measured in units of picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. Radon is naturally found in outdoor air at very low levels and some radon will always be in your indoor air. According to EPA, the average radon level in American homes is about 1.3 pCi/L. Exposure to just 4.0 pCi/L is equivalent to the risk of getting cancer by smoking 8 cigarettes a day for a nonsmoker.

How Does Radon Enter the Home?

How Radon Enters a Home

Radon is present everywhere. When we are outdoors, it is at very low levels. However, inside of a home the concentration builds. Radon can enter homes and buildings through cracks in foundations, walls, and floors, as well as through gaps around pipes and cables, sump pumps, and other openings.

Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

Why is Radon Testing Important?

Testing for radon is the only way to know if it is present in a home or building. If radon is found to be present, steps can be taken to reduce the levels and minimize the risk of lung cancer. Therefore, radon testing is important for the safety and well-being of those who live there, and it is recommended that all homes and buildings be tested for radon.

Should I Get a Radon Test in Chicago?

Radon Levels in Chicago
Radon Levels Across Chicago

In Illinois, high radon levels in the home are quite common. The EPA recommends that every home in Illinois be tested for radon and if levels of 4.0 pCi/L are observed a radon mitigation system is installed. In fact, since 2013 all new construction in the state requires a radon mitigation system. If a system is installed, it should be tested on every two year basis.

For many years, misinformation about radon levels in Chicago have been thrown around. It was often said "Radon isn't an issue in Chicago." Quite simply it's not true. The University of Chicago has gathered data and there are several hot spots in the city with elevated radon levels. In fact, block to block, house to house, radon levels can be drastically different. We highly suggesting a radon test in Chicago.

Radon Levels in Illinois

How Can I Test for Radon in Chicago?

We test for radon over the course of a 48-hour period. Specialized radon monitors are placed in specific areas of the home like a basement. They then collect air samples over the next two days. At the end of 48 hours we analyze the data and the radon test results are emailed to you. If you're interested in performing a radon test for your home inspection or if you have an existing home that you'll like to get tested please contact us and schedule an appointment!


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