What is Radon Gas?

Have You Tested for Radon?

Radon gas is naturally occurring and can be found literally everywhere, both in residential and commercial properties. In many situations one building may have evidence of radon while the buildings on either side do not, so don’t assume if your neighbor tested and was fine that you are too.

Radon is a gaseous, radioactive element that is extremely toxic. It is colorless, odorless and is derived from the decaying of radium in the earth. Radon enters a property through cracks in the foundation, drains and other openings.

The amount of radon that escapes from the soil to enter the house depends on the weather, soil porosity, soil moisture, and the suction within the house.


Why is it bad for us?

The effects of radon are the same as smoking dozens of cartons of cigarettes. Radon gas effects lung tissue and causes cancer. Radon is responsible for an approximate 20,000 lung cancer deaths and approximately 1,200 additional deaths per year. Symptoms of radon poisoning can be bronchitis, pneumonia, wheezing, heavy breath and infections. The danger is so great that anyone selling or renting a residential property is required by law to provide the prospective buyer/tenant with a Radon Disclosure form.


How can you get rid of it?

The first step is testing. There are companies that will conduct a 48 hour test in your home with electronic devices that test the gas levels throughout the day. Ideally this is the best way to get true numbers for about $300. Another option is to purchase an inexpensive radon testing kit from a place like Home Depot for as little as $10. The kit has simple instructions on how to run the test and then you mail in to have your results calculated. It’s not the greatest but if this is what’s in your budget it’s better than no test at all.

If you determine that your levels are above the acceptable level of 4 pCi/L as set by the Environmental Protection Agency, professional remediation is required. Depending on the size of property, installation of a radon venting system could cost about $1,100.

For more information on radon, its dangers and how to  protect your family visit:


Know someone who is a tenant?

Renters/tenants have rights when it comes to protecting themselves and their families from radon exposure.

The EPA recommends that all units at the third floor or lower be tested for radon, as the exposure is more likely. Ask your landlord if they have tested for radon and if not, will they. You can even purchase an inexpensive testing kit at a place like Home Depot and check on your own.




The Watsons are active in local communities and have lived in the Northwest Suburbs for over 40 years. Their knowledge and experience will get you the results you want! ~ Jayne Smith, Palatine, IL