Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. The gas can enter the home through the foundation at cracks, penetrations for plumbing, heating and electrical. The radon gets into the air and can be breathed into the lungs. The radon gas is trapped inside of the home.
Elevated levels of Radon Gas are common to Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. More than 30% of the homes require a mitigation system to be installed.
Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements and crawlspaces. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.
Radon levels cannot be predict based on the state, local, and neighborhood radon measurements. Do not rely on radon test results taken in other homes in the neighborhood to estimate the radon level in your home. Homes which are next to each other can have different radon levels. Testing is the only way to find out what your home’s radon level is.
U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory
“Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.” January 2005
If you decide to finish or renovate an unfinished area of the home in the future, a radon test should be taken before starting the project and after the project is finished. Generally, it is less expensive to install a radon-reduction system before (or during) renovations rather than afterwards.