Portland Property Inspectors uses an ionization chamber detector continuous radon monitor, over a 42 or 72 hour period, to ensure quick and accurate results. Our radon testing results are available within hours after the radon monitor's completion to ensure you'll meet your real estate contract deadlines.
What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally occurs in rocks, soil and water. You can’t smell, see, or taste radon gas. Unless tested for, there is no way of telling how much is present indoors. Radon gas can move up through the soil and be drawn into your home by slight pressure differences. Once inside, radon can become trapped and build up to unsafe levels, especially with air tight modern homes.
Yes. Radon can cause lung cancer. Radon is thought to cause over 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. This is approximately 13% of all lung cancer deaths, and means that, in Oregon, over 250 radon-related lung cancer deaths happen each year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked.
Radon gas breaks down and releases small particles that can get trapped in your lungs. These particles can release tiny bursts of radioactive energy called alpha particles that can damage lung tissue. Alpha particles cannot pass through the skin. The damage done in your lungs by the alpha particles can lead to lung cancer over time. The length of time between being exposed to radon and the start of disease can be several years. If you have any health concerns, it is important to speak with your health care provider. Radon testing in Portland can help identify these health hazards.
Are there some areas in Oregon that have higher radon levels than others?
Generally speaking, there are some areas that have been found to have higher radon levels. However, you should not assume that your home will have low radon levels just because you live somewhere that is not among those areas with higher levels. It is very possible that a home in an area considered to have low risk could have elevated radon levels. The opposite could also be true. The only way to know whether your home has elevated radon levels is to test it.
It is important to know that there is no safe level of radon. [Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L).] Outdoor air has radon levels from .1 to 1 pCi/L, and on average in the U.S. is about .4 pCi/L. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set an action level of 4.0 pCi/L in homes and schools. This is not a health-based standard. EPA states that there isn’t a 100% “safe” amount of radon. The World Health Organization recommends that a home be mitigated when its confirmed radon level is 2.7 pCi/L or above.