Schaub Team Blog
Posted by Jamie Jewell on Jan 10 , 2024 - 11:51 am
Michigan has declared the month of January as Radon Action Month. We’ve gathered some important facts and resources to help you make informed decisions and raise awareness on one of the leading causes of lung cancer.
What is radon?
Radon is a tasteless, odorless, colorless, radioactive gas. It is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. Radon can sometimes enter homes through areas that have contact with the ground because air pressure in a home is usually less than the pressure found in the soil. The pressure difference creates a vacuum-like effect pulling the radon into the homes through foundation cracks and other openings. While levels are usually higher in basements and living spaces with ground contact, it can be found above ground and in adjacent buildings too.
Much of Michigan is categorized on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Map of Radon Zones as relatively low in most places, however, it is recommended that everyone have radon levels tested. In the US, radon is found in 1 out of 15 homes. On the west side of Michigan, radon is found in 1 out 6 homes. And a recent EGLE report indicates that 1 in every 4 homes throughout Michigan is expected to have amounts that exceed the recommended federal action level.
What are the health risks of radon?
According to the EPA, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second cause of lung cancer in the general population.
What level is too high?
Radon levels at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) should be remediated, according to the EPA.
Testing & Remediation
Any home, regardless of age, structural type, or geographic location may have elevated levels of radon even if a nearby home does not.
A simple and inexpensive test can be performed by a licensed inspection company. Radon mitigation systems can usually be purchased and installed for approximately $1,000-$2,000.
Tim Evans, Owner of TC Home Inspections tells us, “It is best to have your home tested using a continuous monitor radon system which is the most accurate and takes 48 separate readings during two days.” Continuous monitoring tests used by TC Home Inspections are EPA-approved, cost $190 and the results will be provided to clients within 2 business days.
TC Home Inspections serves Northwest Michigan including Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Wexford, Kalkaska, Antrim, Benzie, and Manistee Counties.