Annually, in many countries, lung cancer deaths caused by radioactive radon gas in indoor air are far more common than deaths from home fires. This fact is not reflected by public information, continuing to keep awareness of the radon risk at very low levels.
With more than 20,000 radon-induced lung cancer deaths each year, both in the US and in the European Union, small investments in digital radon testing and monitoring are poised to increase in radon awareness, reducing social and economic burdens for families and society as a whole.
Knowledge about home fires and suggestions for preventive actions are high priorities in most countries, accounting for widespread awareness in the general population. Awareness about the risk posed by natural radioactive radon gas, found in most occupied buildings, is rarely published due to the time and knowledge customarily required in detection of this colorless and tasteless gas. Historically, survey methods have placed detection and maintenance of radon squarely in the hands of experts, consultants and specialized laboratories, continuing to minimize detection of this dangerous gas by the average homeowner, renter, or employer.
Digital Radon Testing and Reporting
Today, radon gas can be monitored easily and accurately by everyone. Inexpensive digital radon testing devices provide early warning, create awareness, and generate a high health return on investment through the use of this precise technology. Digital radon monitoring devices allow everyone to check radon levels at any time, reassuring they remain below critical levels.
Many national radiation authorities recommend measuring radon only during the cold season, when levels are often highest. With digital technology, measurements can be taken continuously at any time of year, warning occupants of elevated radon levels regardless of the season.
Digital radon detectors make light work of analyzing and reporting radon level. Radon values are presented on an easy-to-read screen built into the instrument. Free online reporting can easily be generated on the Airthings website ( https://airthings.com/report/).
In a matter of days, a digital radon tester can provide measurements of radon levels in every room of a building. Long-term measurement in rooms with the highest levels can then be continuously monitored over a period of several weeks, producing more accurate results.
A digital version of a radon test kit can be reset to measure many different rooms and buildings. Battery power makes it easy to measure everywhere in a building, even when electrical outlets are not accessible.
Analyzing Radon Mitigation
Digital measurement technology is also very useful when taking action to reduce radon levels in a structure. One can quickly and easily measure the effects of mitigation, starting with the cheapest and simplest techniques, progressing to the more detailed fixes as necessary.
There are several methods of radon mitigation, depending on the severity of the problem. The most common are:
- Room ventilation: Often an efficient fix for moderately high radon levels, simply opening the windows more frequently, installing vents for passive ventilation, or installing more comprehensive systems for balanced ventilation often achieve acceptable levels.
- Underground pipes: Also called "sub-slab depressurization" this method uses an exhaust fan to remove radon gas accumulating below the flooring and foundation, dissipating levels before the gas seeps into the building. Similar systems are available for structures with crawl spaces.
- Radon Membranes: Most effective when installed as part of new construction, membranes must be completely sealed, leaving no holes or rifts in order to function properly. Membranes are less effective when installed in existing structures, since the fabric cannot be placed underneath wall construction.
The Digital Future of Radon Monitoring
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the danger posed by living and working in buildings with elevated radon levels, and points to radon gas exposure as ‘one of the main risks of ionizing radiation causing tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year globally’.
Digital radon testing technology has proven its worth. Placing the power to monitor the radon levels in indoor environments in the hands of the people and families themselves increases awareness and makes the mitigation process less expensive, more targeted, and more effective. Most importantly, it reduces the number of radon lung cancer cases.