Radon Gas in Homes

Radon is a natural radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium present in the earth’s crust. It is present everywhere in the globe although its emission and therefore its concentration is not uniform. Radon can seep into buildings through cracks and essentially other pathways at the base of your home. Radon is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is therefore impossible to detect with the senses.

The unit of measurement of radon is the picoCuries per liter (pCi/L), it is a unit for measuring radioactive concentrations. We see here that the curie (Ci) unit represents the activity of 1 gram of pure radium-226. The Pico is a scientific notation that  denotes  a factor of 10–12. 1 pCi is one trillionth of the Curie, 0.037 disintegrations-per-second, or 2.22 disintegrations per every single minute.

Radon is not present in the outdoor air (The average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L.), because it is  greatly diluted. However, it can seep into public and residential buildings. In the air inside homes, radon may be present in larger quantities. Usually, radon levels are about 1.3 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). in homes However, in some cases, concentrations can reach very high levels (above 50 (pCi/L).), exceeding the guideline of 4.0 (pCi/L). The average concentration of radon in the basement was estimated around 11.7(pCi/L).

Radon is much, much heavier than air, therefore  it tends to accumulate in the lower parts and less broken homes (in the basement, for example).Depending on the location, the radon is located at different concentrations in the soil. Some formations may contain more uranium and radon issue in greater quantities.

 How does radon enter the home?

In general, radon can seep into a home through various channels:radon in the home

  • the dirt floors;
  • cracks in the concrete slab;
  • cracks in foundation walls;
  • sumps;
  • crawlspaces;
  • joints;
  • openings around ducts (eg pipe fittings).
The presence of radon in indoor air of houses is due to several circumstances:
  •    the concentration of radon in the soil (the importance of source);
  •  poor ventilation places (aeration rate);
  •   the great seal of the house;
  • the negative pressure in the building envelope.

Mitigation Guide