Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can accumulate in homes and buildings, potentially leading to harmful health effects for those exposed to high levels of radon over long periods. Exposure to high radon measures (radontiltak) over time can increase the risk of lung cancer, making it a serious concern for homeowners. Therefore, radon measurement (radonmåling) is crucial in assessing the risk of exposure and determining if mitigation measures are necessary.
Importance of Radon Measurement
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is present in soil and rock. It can enter homes and buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation, and then accumulate to dangerous levels. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking, and the leading cause among non-smokers. Radon exposure can also cause other respiratory problems and has been linked to other types of cancer.
Since radon is invisible and has no noticeable effects on human health in small doses, radon measurement (radonmåling) is essential to assess the level of risk and determine if mitigation is necessary. The EPA recommends that homes and buildings be tested for radon at least once every two years.
Methods of Radon Measurement
There are two primary methods of radon measurement (radonmåling): short-term testing and long-term testing. Short-term testing is conducted over a period of two to seven days using a radon test kit. The kit is placed in the lowest livable area of the home or building, such as a basement or first floor, and then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Long-term testing, on the other hand, is conducted over a period of 90 days to one year. Long-term testing is considered more accurate because it provides a more comprehensive assessment of radon levels over time.
Recommendations for Radon Measurement
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that all homes and buildings be tested for radon. If levels are found to be above the recommended action level of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air), the EPA recommends taking steps to reduce radon levels. This may include sealing cracks and gaps in the foundation and installing a radon mitigation system.