Radon is similar to carbon monoxide in that it is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas that is harmful to the human body over a certain level. Radon gas comes from the decay of uranium and radium which are both found naturally in rocks underneath the earth’s soil, like granite - so it’s quite a natural occurrence but fatal if home levels are in excess of 4 pCi/L.
When inhaled, the gas can become trapped in your lungs and, because of its radioactive properties, can alter lung cells and can substantially increase the risk of lung cancer. This means that radon poisoning is the second-leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.
There are two types of tests you can use to get radon readings - passive, and active. Passive tests generally consist of DIY tests that are generally inexpensive, but results can be delayed because of the need to send the results to a lab for testing. Active tests are electronic devices that continually monitor levels every hour, and are usually done by a certified radon measurements contractor. Having a professional come and test for you can ensure a more accurate reading and could possibly mean faster resting results. Rushmore Radon can come test for your radon levels if you are unsure of or suspect high levels.
If your radon levels are above the EPA accepted levels, you will need radon mitigation, which is just the removal of the gas. There are several processes that can take place to reduce levels - some prevent radon from entering your home, and some reduce levels after entry. The EPA recommends ones that prevent entry altogether, which commonly ends up being a method called “active soil depressurization”. This consists of a pipe system that uses a fan to draw the gas from the soil under your home, before it has a chance to enter your house.
South Dakota is an area of moderate to high radon potential, and the Black Hills more specifically are more prone to moderate potential - which means levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L. Because of this, Rushmore Radon provides quality mitigation in the Black Hills area to ensure that your home is safe.