Radon measurement can help determine if the air or water supply in a home is clean and healthy. There are many different methods to determine radon levels, including radon test kits that may be purchased by homeowners. Some professional companies also offer radon measurement services. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommended radon testing for all homes.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that scientists believe can cause cancer. It is released by the radioactive decay of radium-226 and can enter homes through the air and water supply, or from soil gas emanations. Almost all human exposure to radon occurs in the respiratory system. Since homes and other buildings possess a limited airspace, radon can build up over time. This is generally why a radon measurement is required.
Many radon test kits are available on the market. These kits can measure the amount of radon in a home or building, and determine if the levels of the substance are dangerous or not. Most kits test the amount of radon in the air. Some kits specifically measure how much of the substance is in the home water supply.
Radon test kits that test radon levels in the air generally have detailed instructions on how to use them. Typically, the test kit is placed in the lowest level of a building, or in a room that is frequently used, with the exception of kitchens and bathrooms. The package should tell how long the test needs to be done. Afterwards, the test is usually sent back to the manufacturer for lab analysis.
There are also long-term radon tests that collect data for a period of up to 90 days. This type of test can sometimes be a more accurate measurement option, as it can help determine the most common levels of the substance in the home. These tests generally employ alpha track and electret detectors.
Most water testing kits will ask the user to collect samples of water from the home using special containers. These samples are typically sent back to the manufacturer of the kit. Professionals will then test the amount of radon in the water in their laboratory and provide information about the levels of radon.
Many businesses provide professional radon measurement. These companies generally employ professional technicians who use special equipment to collect data. Some of these services can also provide same-day results on measurements, which can let the homeowner know, as soon as possible, the levels of radon in their home.