Radon Testing (Cedar Rapids Only)
Springer Professional Home Services property inspectors have had extensive training in the detection of radon, a radioactive gas that forms from uranium decomposing in the soil and can seep into homes. The EPA recommends determining the radon level for homes prior to purchase. Therefore, if the home seller hasn't had the home tested for radon, consider having Springer test for it. This can be done easily during a home inspection.
What is radon?
Radon gas occurs naturally in the soil, and isproduced by the radioactive breakdown or decay of uranium and radium. Long ago,glacial activity left behind ground-up deposits of many minerals such asuranium in the soil or upper crust in Iowa. Because radon is a gas it can seepinto buildings, including homes. It is an odorless and invisible gas that isalso radioactive and harmful to humans when inhaled.
What are the health effects of radon?
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that exposure to elevated levels of radon causes lung cancer in humans. Radiation emitted from radon can cause cellular damage that can lead to cancer when it strikes living tissue in the lungs. Radon is the first leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. It is responsible for about 21,000 deaths every year in the US. EPA also estimates that long-term exposure to radon potentially causes approximately 400 deaths each year in Iowa.
Where is radon found in Iowa?
EPA has identified all counties in Iowa as Zone 1. Zone 1 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level of more than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). The total average indoor radon level in Iowa is 8.5 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air, and in the United States it is 1.3 pCi/L of air. Average radon levels of 4 pCi/L are considered elevated, and remediation is recommended.
The primary source of high levels of radon in homes is in the soil below and soil surrounding the home. It is found in new and old homes, and in homes with and without basements. Based on data collected from radon home tests, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) estimates that as many as 5 in 7 homes (or greater than 50-70%) across Iowa have elevated radon levels. Radon levels can vary from area to area and can vary considerably from house to house, even on the same street and neighborhood. A high and low level of radon can be found in homes directly next to each other.