Radon test kits available
Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas produced by the decay of natural radioactive materials found in the soil. It’s a naturally occurring environmental hazard that seeps into homes and other buildings through joints or cracks in the foundation and has been found above recommended levels in as many as one in four homes in Kansas.
Radon is known to be the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers, and testing is recommended.
Do-it-yourself radon test kits are available at K-State Research and Extension Meadowlark District offices for a small fee during January Radon Action Month, as well as throughout the year.
Following the directions provided with the test kits and detectors is important, so the results will reveal the potential for elevated concentrations in the lowest lived-in level of the home.
How often should you test? If your results are low, consider repeating the test every five years or whenever there is a significant change in the home’s foundation, heating system or air tightness from weatherization efforts.
If you currently have a mitigation installed, your home needs to be tested every two years to make sure that it is working properly and you do not have any additional changes in your foundation to increase the radon levels in your home.
If you do any major home modifications, then you should test after you complete that project to find out if you have radon in your home because of the structural changes in your remodel.
What if the test result is above the EPA level? If radon is present above the recommended ceiling (4.0 pCiL/Pico Curies per liter), a confirmatory test should be conducted. If you want to know the radon concentration in other areas of your home, conduct the desired number of tests at the same time. When high results are confirmed, experts recommend consulting a radon professional for mitigation system installation.