WHAT IS
RADON?

Radon is an invisible gas formed in the Earth’s crust. It surrounds every one of us as part of the air we breathe.

WHY IS RADON
IMPORTANT?

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers. Radon induced lung cancer kills more than house fires and carbon monoxide combined.

Approximately
21,000
people in the US and 20,000 in the EU die from radon-related lung cancer every year

Pie chart of deaths Deaths in the
US per year
2,800 from home fires
3,900 from drownings
21,000 from radon
17,400 from drunk driving

WHERE DOES
RADON
COME FROM?

Radioactive
Radon Nucleus

The rocks and soil beneath our homes contain traces of uranium. Over time, the uranium breaks down and forms other elements. This is called radioactive decay. Radon is one link in the decay chain of uranium. When radon gas decays, it emits radioactive radiation in the form of an alpha particle. This radioactive particle is made up of two protons and two neutrons.

Alpha particle

RADIATION
& DNA

DNA
All our cells contain DNA, which acts as an instruction manual or blueprint for cells on how to create copies of themselves.

When an alpha particle hits our DNA it can cause damage to a cell’s blueprint. Cells constantly replicate themselves, but with a broken blueprint the replication process can become cancerous.



Wave-particle duality
According to particle physics, any form of radiation can behave as both a particle and as a wave depending on how you observe it. That is why an alpha particle is the same as alpha radiation.

DNA DNA mutated

RADIOACTIVE
RADIATION

Radioactive radiation takes different forms including alpha, beta, gamma, X-ray, and neutron radiation, which are able to penetrate different substances.

01Artificial sources

When we think of radiation, we often think of artificial sources, such as X-ray or medical scans, but these sources have little effect.

02Internal tissue

Since alpha particles are ingested or inhaled, they come in contact with living cells which are not able to stop the radiation.

ir_sources Ionizing
radiation
sources
11% Food and drink
15% Artificial sources
14% Cosmic rays
42% Radon
18% The ground

Almost half of the radiation we are exposed to through our lives is in the form of radon.

ALPHA RADIATION vs.
GAMMA RADIATION

Alpha radiation (such as radon) has a much greater effect on DNA than gamma radiation. Imagine DNA being hit by a cannonball, that is what Alpha radiation is like. Whereas gamma radiation is like the DNA being hit by a needle. There is a big difference in damage.

Cannon
Accupuncture
Bamse Bamse lungs

HEALTHY
LUNGS

Lungs have especially sensitive tissue made of living cells that allow oxygen molecules to pass from the air we inhale into our bloodstream. When alpha-emitting substances like radon are inhaled, they can damage local cell DNA.

Cat with hat Cat with hat lungs
 
 
 

RADON IN
BUILDINGS

Modern buildings are often well insulated and sometimes windows are even unusable. This is to save on energy costs and consumption. However, little airflow can allow radon to build up to high levels and cause long term exposure. Ventilation is the solution to keep radon levels safe.

A MAN-MADE PROBLEM

The radon concentration within buildings is often much greater than outside. The gas comes from the ground and is captured and contained in our homes, resulting in levels that we seldom find in nature.

RADON SOURCES

 

Radon rises and can enter a home or workplace through cracks in the foundation, entry points for pipes, wiring and more.

TOP FLOORS

Some buildings have a higher radon level in the top floors. This can be due to artificial ventilation, natural updraft, or building materials used.

WEATHER EFFECTS

Radon levels can be affected by natural sources such as cold weather, wind, pressure and shifting soil—even earthquakes and local construction.

Radon map >
See your regions approximate risk level.

 
 
 

LOW RISK FOR RADON?

Radon levels at sea
are usually quite low.

WHO IS
RADON SENSITIVE?

1 in 30

are fundamentally radon sensitive.

ALL CHILDREN
ARE SENSITIVE

still developing

Children’s organs are still developing; their replicative tissue is more vulnerable to DNA damage.

Children breathe faster; they actually respire 2-3 times faster than adults as their lungs are much smaller.

breathe faster
weigh less

Children weigh less; their exposure is greater, as it is measured in concentration per kilogram.

Children have more life left; and thus could live long enough to get cancer from early life radon exposure.

more time left

Radon is
10x
more dangerous for children.
-Dr. Goodarzi presentation to Airthings 8th April 2019.

MEASURING MATTERS

Radon levels fluctuate over time and are influenced by the elements in our environment. Monitoring over long periods of time allows for such fluctuations to be accounted for, giving you more accurate and meaningful results.

screen

How to measure
radon?

01

Purchase a radon detector.

02

You will shortly receive your first indication of radon levels.

03

Read your numbers on the screen, or in the Airthings Wave App, or online dashboard.

04

Monitor over time: the longer you measure, the more accurate your readings.

WHAT DO MY RADON
LEVELS MEAN?

0 - 48 Bq/m3

No action needed.

49 - 99 Bq/m3

Experiment with ventilation and sealing cracks to reduce levels.

100 - 149 Bq/m3

Keep measuring. If levels are maintained for more than 3 months, contact a professional radon mitigator.

150 Bq/m3 and up

Keep measuring. If levels are maintained for more than 1 month, contact a professional radon mitigator.

OUR
RADON DETECTORS

Wave Plus >

Total indoor air quality monitor plus radon detection

Wave >

A smart radon detector with quick and accurate results on your smartphone

Corentium Home >

Our simple to use and wildly popular radon gas detector

Compare >

Compare our detectors to find out which one best fit your needs

Choose your region / country

region flag

Global