How to detect high levels of radon in your home

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – January is Radon Action Month.

Robert Dunn, a Radon Technician, told 22News, “All homes have radon but some are obviously higher than others.”

Radon is a silent killer. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it and you can’t taste it. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers and the EPA says it is responsible for more than 20,000 American deaths each year.

This radioactive class A carcinogen originates from decaying uranium in soil which enters through cracks and openings, but exposure to it is preventable.

The store manager of Rocky’s Ace Hardware in Agawam told 22News that anyone who suspects radon to be present in their home or business should get a special kit. The kit comes with a lab analysis fee and results will be sent to you within two weeks.

“Basically you get two viles in here and you basically swab it wherever you think the potential for the damage is. Then you send it in. You basically pay it. They do the test usually within a week and a half two weeks..and they wills end you back the results,” said Rocky’s Store Manager Joe Ovelheiro.

However, some collection devices can have a low accuracy ratings and it’s suggested to have a testing technician set up and electronic testing machine.

Robert Dunn tests for Radon in western Massachusetts, “In western Massachusetts, 19-23 percent of the homes test above 4.0 picoliters which is the measurement set by the EPA as being dangerous to breathe.”

Dunn said the electronic machine takes 49 samples of air being tested and results can be given immediately. Homes with levels of 4.0 picoliters, which is a measurement of radiation, or higher should be fixed.

If you are considering buying a new home or building one, builders are now using a new radon-resistant construction.

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