Category: Radon Information

supplements decrease lung cancer risks

There are a number of major risks that come with prolonged exposure to high levels of radon gas, and one of the single most notable here is lung cancer. Radon exposure is a major risk factor for lung cancer, heavily increasing the chances that someone exposed to it will have this condition later in life – and while avoiding radon exposure in the first place is by far the most important way of preventing this raised risk, there are also some tactics for those who have already been exposed.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help with all things radon. We offer the very best radon testing and radon mitigation services in Colorado, plus provide clients with regular expertise and information about how to steer clear of the risks of this harmful gas. For those who have already been exposed to significant radon before testing their home or building and learning of its presence, you may be looking for ways of countering the increased cancer risk you’ve taken on – and one option that’s often successful for some people is the use of supplements. Here are a few of the most notable supplements that have shown success in decreasing cancer risks in some people, and which might be helpful to those exposed to high levels of radon.

(*Note: This information is not intended as medical advice, and should not be considered as a substitute for advice from your doctor! Rather, it is provided as an informational resource only.*)

Vitamin D

One of the top supplements that may help to reduce the risk of lung cancer in those exposed to radon is Vitamin D. This “sunshine vitamin” helps to regulate calcium absorption and can actually help guard against a number of forms of cancer, including lung cancer. It’s a good idea for anyone exposed to high levels of radon to look into taking a Vitamin D, which can be found in pill form or as a liquid supplement.

Now, this is also an area where some people won’t need supplements – they’ll be able to change their diet in ways that will ensure they’re getting enough Vitamin D naturally. Foods like salmon, cod liver oil, and egg yolks are all good sources of this vitamin, so if you can incorporate them into your regular diet it’s a great option for increasing your body’s natural Vitamin D levels.


Another important supplement to look into as a way of decreasing risk of lung cancer is Selenium. This powerful mineral helps to support the immune system, and can help to protect against certain cancers by supporting our bodies in fighting off free radicals. It’s also been shown to promote healthy cell growth and DNA repair, two processes that are very important when it comes to avoiding cancer.

Selenium can be found in pill form, and can also be incorporated into your diet by eating more foods like Brazil nuts, mushrooms, tuna, and eggs.


Many people are familiar with melatonin as a supplement that helps regulate sleep, and this is often a key supplement for those exposed to radon – as good sleep is very important in helping our bodies fight off cancerous cells. But melatonin also has other benefits, and it can actually help to reduce the risk of lung cancer as well. Melatonin helps protect against oxidative damage, which is a key factor that contributes to increased cancer risks.

It’s important to note that melatonin is a hormone, so it’s best to speak with your doctor before taking it – but for those who can, this supplement can be taken in pill form and is also naturally found in foods like oats and cherries.


Garlic is yet another food that can be eaten to help reduce risk of cancer caused by radon exposure. This powerful food has been shown to have anti-cancer effects in some studies, and it’s a great way of helping your body fight off cancerous cell growth. Garlic is very high in sulfur compounds, which are important for immune system health and may also help in the fight against cancer.

Garlic can be easily incorporated into your diet, so if you’re looking to reduce the risks of lung cancer due to high radon exposure this is definitely an option that’s worth exploring. It can also be taken in pill form as a supplement, but it’s important to speak with your doctor before doing so – as it can interact with some medications.

Vitamin B12

For those exposed to high levels of radon, taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 is also a very important way of reducing their risk for lung cancer. This vitamin helps to boost the immune system and can help protect against certain types of cancers. It can be taken in pill form or as a liquid supplement, but it’s also naturally found in many foods like meat, fish, dairy products and some fortified cereals.

In conclusion, there are a number of supplements that may help to reduce the risk of lung cancer in those exposed to high levels of radon gas. Vitamin D, Selenium, Melatonin, Garlic and Vitamin B12 can all be good options for those looking to decrease the risk of this condition. It’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any supplement, however – as some may have interactions with existing medications or other potential risks.

But at the core, avoiding cancer risks due to radon comes down to removing any chance of radon exposure to begin with. To learn about how we can help with this through radon testing and high-quality radon mitigation systems, contact our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

radon-resistant home construction

More and more people are becoming aware of the significant risks that come with prolonged radon exposure, and are also taking more steps to prevent this sort of exposure in their home or building. One such approach that’s even begun to rise in popularity: Building new homes or buildings in ways that naturally increase radon resistance and get out in front of radon concerns before they ever begin.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer the very best radon mitigation and testing systems available in Colorado, ensuring home and building owners around the state are protected. We’re also well aware of these increasing efforts toward radon-resistant construction, and we completely support this initiative! For our clients who care about avoiding radon and its risks, here are some basics on how radon-resistant construction works for new homes or buildings.

A “Passive” Radon System

While most radon mitigation systems you’re familiar with are installed in an active sense – that is, they address a concern that’s already present – radon-resistant construction is a more preventative approach. These systems are typically referred to as “passive” radon mitigation systems, and involve building the home or building in such a way that it’s naturally resistant to radon intrusion.

This process begins before the foundation of the building is ever poured, and sets the entire structure up for radon protection from the start. Our next few sections will go over the process for how this works.

Aggregate and Pipe Laying

Before the foundation is laid, and while the foundation’s “footprint” is still being arranged, loose aggregate will be laid down around the perimeter of the area. From here, a perimeter drain pipe will be laid on top of the aggregate.

This pipe will then be connected to PVC piping, which is routed up through the slab or basement walls as part of a venting system. The end result is a piping system that’s connected to the sump pump basin and routed outside at ground level. This allows air and gas to flow between the foundation.

Vapor Barrier

Next up, a vapor barrier will be installed on top of the aggregate before the footing can be poured. This vapor barrier takes the form of a thick plastic sheet, and it serves to keep moisture away from the foundation while also preventing radon gas from entering into the structure.

This barrier is important, as it restricts the flow of gas upward to the foundation. If there were any cracks in the foundation, this upward flow would allow gas to enter the home or building, but with a vapor barrier in place this flow is blocked.

Foundation Poured

At this point in the construction process, the foundation can be poured. It’s worth noting that when pouring the concrete slab or basement walls, it’s best practice to use a composite of Portland Cement and Fly Ash in order to reduce water permeability.

This composite mix will help further restrict gas flow and is especially important for those homes or buildings that may have higher levels of radon. Ensuring the slab or walls are mixed with a composite helps make the structure even more resistant to radon intrusion, and increases overall safety for those living within it.

PVC Discharge Piping

Next, PVC discharge piping will be run through the center of the home from a stub located in the foundation. This pipe will be connected to the venting system we mentioned earlier, and it’ll ensure that any radon gas is discharged outside of the home or building.

This piping also helps prevent pressure from building up inside the structure – another possible contributor to radon intrusion – thus adding yet another layer of protection for those living within it.

Electrical Access

Finally, electrical access will be routed into the attic near the discharge piping, allowing easy access to the system in the event of maintenance or repair. This helps ensure that any air and gas are being discharged properly, as well as providing assurance that the radon-resistant construction is working as intended.

Are These Systems Effective?

The answer here is definitely yes – but what’s up for debate is whether these systems have similar effectiveness to active mitigation systems, like the fan-based approaches that typically take place after a home or building is already constructed.

At least at this point in time, the answer there appears to be no. While passive radon mitigation systems are effective on their own, and are often just fine in areas with low radon levels, they don’t quite match the level of protection that active systems offer.

That said, passive radon mitigation systems are still an incredibly valuable tool for those looking to take extra steps towards preventing radon intrusion in their home or building. In addition to reducing the possibility of a future mitigation system being needed after construction is complete, it also provides a layer of peace-of-mind for those who may be looking to protect their family or tenants from radon exposure.

You Still Need to Test

Even if you’re moving into a new home or building that features a passive radon mitigation system, you should never take for granted that it’s working properly. Testing for radon levels after construction is completed is an essential step in ensuring that the structure is safe and that all necessary prevention steps have been taken.

If your test results do come back high, don’t worry. Fortunately, there are measures that you can take – both passive and active – to reduce your radon levels and make sure they stay within safety guidelines.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation systems, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

facts radon winter

Basic Facts on Radon in the Denver Winter

As we approach the cold and snowy Colorado winter in earnest, there are a number of home fixtures or areas you might be thinking about as we head into cold season. One theme that sometimes isn’t considered closely enough within this context: That of radon, and the levels that may be present in your home or building.

At Absolute Radon Safety, our radon testing and mitigation services are invaluable to many Denver residents and other clients, helping them identify, understand and reduce potentially harmful radon levels. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is present in all outdoor air, but can become trapped indoors at higher-than-safe levels due to poor ventilation or other factors. Unfortunately, radon testing often isn’t part of the home inspection process during real estate purchases, leaving some buyers unaware of this harmful gas. Here are some simple facts about radon during the colder weather, which are particularly important if you’re aware of higher radon levels in your home or building.

Radon Levels Often Rise During Winter

Radon levels in homes and other buildings often go up during the winter period compared to other times of the year. Why is this? There are a few reasons:

  • Ventilation: During wintertime, most people keep their windows shut for long periods due to the colder outside air. This lack of ventilation can cause radon levels in an indoor space to increase, as there is no way for the gas to escape.
  • Heating systems: Home heating systems play a role in this, as they can sometimes draw radon up from the soil and into your home. This is particularly true of systems that rely on a furnace or boilers.
  • Water saturation: During winter, much higher levels of moisture are typically present in soil, due to snow, rain and other forms of precipitation. This water can transport radon into the building more easily, thus increasing indoor levels.
  • Cracks or gaps increase: In some homes, often due to a lack of attention during the cold weather, cracks or gaps in the structure can become larger, allowing radon to enter more easily.

The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take today to reduce radon levels in your home or building during the winter season. Here are some tips:

  • Ventilation: Make sure to open the windows and doors of your home or building regularly. This will help ensure that any radon gas is removed from the indoor environment, reducing the concentration of the gas in general.
  • Fill cracks or gaps: If you spot any cracks in the structure of your home, whether they’re around door frames or windows, make sure to fill them up with caulk or a similar material. This will prevent radon from entering the building and can help reduce indoor levels.
  • Check heating system: Make sure to keep your heating system in good condition, as this will help reduce the potential for radon levels to increase due to it drawing up the gas from the soil.
  • Test regularly: Finally, invest in regular radon testing throughout the winter period, particularly if you know that there are higher levels of the gas present in your building. This will help you monitor the situation and ensure that it remains under safe levels.

And if your home or building has higher than acceptable levels of radon, make sure to invest in professional radon mitigation services from Absolute Radon Safety. We can help you create a safe and healthy home environment during the winter season. Contact us today for more information!

Winter is Often Ideal for Radon Testing

Another important fact about radon during the cold season is that winter can be an ideal time for testing and mitigation processes. Why?

First, many of these steps are easier to perform when it’s colder outside. For example, sealing any cracks or gaps in a structure may be much more difficult (or even impossible) when temperatures get too high.

Second, the higher levels of radon present in some buildings during winter mean that it’s a great time to test for, and get an idea of the true levels of this gas. Think of this time period as the “worst-case” scenario for your radon levels; if you’re prepared and know how to handle them then, you’ll be more than ready for any other season.

Finally, it’s important to note that radon typically dissipates during warmer times of the year, meaning that if you take steps like testing and mitigation now while levels are higher, they’ll also carry over into spring and summer.

You May Be Able to Save Money on Radon Systems in Winter

Depending on the particular state or province you live in, it’s possible to get discounts on radon systems during winter as well. To be sure, check your local regulations and see if there are any incentives for investing in radon safety measures during the cold season.

In conclusion, winter can be a great time to take steps to ensure that your home or building is safe from radon gas. Be sure to take the above tips into consideration, and reach out to Absolute Radon Safety for more information. We’re always happy to help with radon needs around Denver and the rest of Colorado, whether you’re looking for testing, mitigation, or more.

Don’t let radon gas ruin your winter – reach out to Absolute Radon Safety today and get the peace of mind you need!

radon gas poisoning complex

There are several substances that are known to lead to significant health risks if we’re exposed to them in large quantities, and one of the most significant such threats here is radon gas. This gas is so difficult because it’s impossible to smell, taste, feel or pick up with any other basic human sense — but if it’s present in large enough quantities, it can have a major impact on both short-term and long-term health.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help stop this from happening to you. Through our combined radon testing and radon mitigation programs, we ensure that clients throughout Colorado are not being exposed to high radon levels in their homes or buildings on a regular basis. One particular concern that some people have with radon exposure is radon poisoning — but unlike other forms of poisoning that may take place, radon poisoning is a bit different. Let’s go over why this is the case, plus how to spot the symptoms of radon poisoning and why, even with the best information, this is a difficult area to assess — one where simply ensuring no radon is present is the simplest possible approach.

What Makes Radon Poisoning So Tough to Approach

When we think of most issues of poisoning, the setting is a lot different from radon gas. For instance, a chemical substance that poisons someone if they accidentally consume it will create immediate and obvious symptoms — the person may need to be rushed to the hospital, and furious efforts may be made to remove the poisonous substance before it’s too late. Another good example here would be a snake bite, where an individual clearly knows to get medical help right away.

Radon poisoning, by contrast, is a different animal. The first thing to realize here is that the symptoms of radon poisoning may not arise for many years, making the process much more difficult when it comes to detection and remediation — even though it’s really just as critical. While there are some radon poisoning symptoms that are very clear, such as chronic lung problems or even cancer, in many cases it may take years before any such side effects arise.

Radon gas is especially dangerous because of how difficult it can be to detect — after all, it’s a naturally occurring substance that doesn’t have any mechanisms for detection built in. So unlike a snake bite, where you’ll know right away if you’re bitten, the radon poisoning symptoms that arise may not be so easily identified.

With all this in mind, even the term “radon poisoning” is somewhat problematic — it’s not that the gas itself is poisonous, but rather the long-term effects. But since these can be so widespread and serious in terms of implications for health, it’s important to keep radon mitigation as an ongoing priority in your home or building.

Possible Symptoms of Radon Poisoning

Now, those who have been exposed to large quantities of radon — or “poisoned,” if you will — may still show some common symptoms. Many of these are similar or even identical to the symptoms of lung cancer, which makes sense given that radon exposure is so closely linked with higher risks of such cancer.

Particularly when associated with radon, these symptoms may include:

  • Wheezing and shortness of breath: This is because of the direct impact radon gas can have on your lungs, leading to both inflammation and other symptoms that inhibit lung capacity.
  • Coughing: Again related to your lungs and how they’re impacted by radon.
  • Chest pain or pressure: Lung damage often leads to intense pain in this part of the body.
  • Coughing up blood: This is much more rare, but it’s possible in certain cases.
  • Weight loss and fatigue: These are both fairly clear symptoms of lung cancer or many other health issues.
  • Frequent bronchitis, pneumonia or other infections: Again, this could be the result of lung damage in general, but it’s a classic sign.

Again, though, because these symptoms are so similar to other health issues and issues related to lung cancer, it can be very difficult to tell purely through symptoms whether you’ve been exposed to high levels of radon or radon poisoning. And because there are no medical tests for determining radon poisoning, many people do not even consider it when symptoms arise.

Importance of Radon Testing

All of the above leads us to a vital point: The single simplest and most effective way to determine whether you have been exposed to radon gas is to get a radon test in your home. This testing can be carried out at any point — and it’s best done on an ongoing basis, so that if high levels of radon are detected, they can be addressed as soon as possible.

This is truly the only way to confirm with certainty that you’ve been exposed to this gas, and it’s imperative to do so in order to mitigate any effects that may have arisen. A radon test will not only tell you whether radon is present, but will also note its quantity and allow you to work with professional radon mitigation experts to ensure that the levels are reduced.

As you can see, the realm of radon poisoning and exposure is a curious one — and one that is not well-understood by many people. But it’s important to keep in mind if you’re ever concerned about your health, or the health of your family members, as it can have such significant impacts. And with a simple radon test, you can know for sure whether you’ve been exposed to this harmful substance and have more information to work with.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation services, speak to the staff at Absolute Radon Safety today.

should doctor radon exposure

Should I See a Doctor Due to Radon Exposure?

As many people are well aware, a significant silent threat in many homes or buildings that must be accounted for is radon. Radon gas is impossible for humans to smell or pick up with any of their other senses, but it can also create significant health risks and even fatalities in many cases, and those who have been exposed may be wondering how they should proceed.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help. We offer a robust range of radon testing and radon mitigation services, ensuring you’re aware of radon in your home well ahead of time and can take the proper steps to combat it. If our team or any other radon testing specialists note high levels of radon in your home, should you be seeing a doctor right away? Here’s a primer on how radon can impact people, plus whether this sort of step is one you should take.

Radon Basics and Possible Health Impacts

Firstly, it’s helpful for this conversation if you understand exactly what radon is and what it can do to you. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is formed from the breakdown of uranium in the earth’s crust. It very well may seep into your home or building through cracks, openings, and other spaces in the foundation and floors, but because it cannot be detected by scent or sight, it’s wise to have a radon test in place.

If you or anyone else breathes in radon, this gas can create free radicals that damage the DNA of cells, which can then lead to cancerous mutations over time. The risk of developing lung cancer from exposure to radon is rather significant, as you may be unable to taste, smell, or see the radon in your home. It’s important to keep in mind that lung cancer is only one of many possible health consequences from breathing in radon gas; other complications include leukemia as well as esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancers.

Why Radon Testing is Vital

If you’re concerned about the radon levels in your home, it’s important to have a test done as soon as possible. Radon testing is the only way to know for sure if you and your family are at risk, and the sooner you know, the sooner you can take steps to mitigate the gas. Mitigation may include installing a ventilation system or other methods to reduce the amount of radon in your home.

It’s also important to keep in mind that radon levels can change over time; even if your home tests below the EPA’s action level of 4 pCi/L, this does not mean that it is safe. You should revisit your test results every few years and update your mitigation plan as necessary.

Should You See a Doctor?

If tests of your home reveal that you have high radon levels, and especially if you’ve been in the space for a long period of time and believe you’ve been consistently breathing in radon, there’s a temptation to go to the doctor. In certain cases this will be the prudent move, but it’s also important to remember some basic realities here.

The first such reality: There is no medical test or process that can 100% confirm if radon exposure is the source of your health problem, or even whether you’ve been exposed to high levels of radon at all. Your doctor can usually make a diagnosis based on symptoms and physical exam, but they won’t be able to definitively say what has caused them — there’s no blood test or biopsy that says “radon gas” beyond all doubt.

Before we move you too far in the direction of doing nothing after radon exposure, though, it’s important to also look at the flip side. As we’ve noted here, the key risk from radon exposure is lung cancer — and if you believe you are showing any of the signs or symptoms of lung cancer, see your doctor right away.

Symptoms of lung cancer caused by radon are similar to those of any form of lung cancer, and include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

These are all signs that something is not right in your lungs, and you need to get a diagnosis. It’s important to note though that the risk of lung cancer increases with even low levels of radon exposure; according to recent studies, any level above 4 pCi/L can be potentially hazardous.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do if you believe radon exposure is a concern for you and your family is to get tested for radon. Only by knowing the true level of radioactivity in your environment can you make well-informed decisions about how to proceed. If a test reveals high levels of radon, you can then take steps to mitigate the risk and protect your family’s health.

If you have any questions or concerns about radon testing or mitigation in your home, be sure to speak with a qualified professional who can address your needs. While there is no treatment for lung cancer caused by radon exposure, as soon as it is detected, your doctor can help you determine the best course of action for your health.

Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that radon is a silent threat — but one which should be taken very seriously, regardless of whether or not you have any symptoms. For more on how to test for and mitigate any exposure you’ve had, or to learn about our radon mitigation systems for any home, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

rain snow radon mitigation system

Anytime you have any sort of device or system installed in your home for any reason, you naturally want to be sure that this setup will be protected from any elements or weather conditions it may be exposed to on a regular basis. However, there are many such systems where these concerns can be overstated, and a good example is with radon mitigation systems and certain forms of perceived weather threats.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re happy to install the very best radon mitigation systems in Colorado, assisting clients who have high radon levels — something that’s unfortunately very common in our state. However, one area you generally don’t have to worry about within this realm, despite some in the state sometimes expressing concern given our weather patterns: Rain, snow or ice getting into your radon mitigation system, particularly the main pipe that’s responsible for removing radon from the home. Here’s a look at how these systems work and why this sort of thing is not a real concern, plus a couple other related notes.

How Radon Mitigation Systems Work

To fully understand why rain, snow and ice aren’t risks to your radon mitigation system, it helps to know a bit about how these systems work in the first place. Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that’s present in nearly all soil. It typically enters the home through cracks in the foundation or other small openings, and once inside, it can quickly rise up and become trapped. Since it’s both colorless and odorless, the only way to know if you have a radon problem is to test for it — which we highly recommend if you live in Colorado.

If your test comes back showing high levels of radon, the next step is to call in a radon mitigation specialist like us. We’ll come to your home, assess the situation and determine the best way to remove radon from your indoor air. In most cases, this involves installing a vent pipe system that goes from your home up through the roof. This pipe is typically white plastic and is generally very unobtrusive, meaning it won’t be an eyesore on your home’s exterior.

The key part of this system is the fan, which is installed at the top of the pipe. This fan is responsible for drawing radon-laden air out of your home and pushing it up and away, preventing it from becoming trapped inside where it can do harm.

Fully Sealed and Glued

For anyone worrying about the possibility of rain, snow or ice getting into this system and causing problems, it’s important to know that the main pipe is both fully sealed and glued. In other words, there are no gaps or cracks that water could potentially get into. Plus, the glue used is of the very highest quality and is designed to withstand all sorts of extreme weather conditions.

For instance, even during a significant snowstorm this upcoming winter, you won’t have to worry about your radon pipe getting blocked by snow or ice. The same goes for any downpours or thunderstorms we may experience. Your system will continue to work as designed no matter what the weather is like outside.

Water-Resistant/Hardened Motors

In addition, while it’s highly unlikely that any water will make its way into your system, it’s important to know that the motors used in these fans are also water-resistant or hardened. So even if by some small chance water did get into the system, it would not cause any damage to the fan itself.

Slight Backslope

Not only are all of the above measures in place to prevent water from getting into your system, but the pipe is also installed with a slight backslope. This means that even if water somehow did get into the system, it would immediately start flowing back out rather than sitting inside and potentially causing problems.

However, as we’ve noted, this is rarely necessary. During normal operations, your radon mitigation system creates airflow when it pushes radon and other air out of the exhaust pipe — this airflow is usually easily enough to push any rain, snow or ice away from the opening without any concerns.

Keeping Pests and Birds Out

In other cases, clients raise concerns to us about the possibility of pests or birds getting into their system and creating problems. Once again, this is very unlikely to happen for a few reasons.

First, the exhaust pipe is typically installed with a screen over the opening to keep pests and birds out. Second, even if something did manage to get into the system, it would likely just get caught in the fan itself and cause no damage. Third, the system is regularly checked and serviced to ensure that everything is working properly, so any potential problems would be caught and dealt with right away.

Bottom Line

The most important takeaway from all of this is that you shouldn’t let concerns about the weather or potential pests deter you from having a radon mitigation system installed in your home. These systems are highly effective at reducing radon levels and keeping your indoor air quality high, and they can be used with complete confidence even in the most extreme weather conditions.

If you have any questions about this or any other home improvement topic, feel free to reach out to us anytime at Absolute Radon Safety. We’re always happy to help in any way we can, whether it’s detailing our services to you or carrying out radon testing, radon mitigation or other important programs on your behalf.

radon silent threat homes

There are a number of different potential threats to our health and well-being out there, and some of the most concerning in many cases are those that are extremely tough to notice no matter how hard we try. One of the single best examples of this concept: Radon gas, which is well-known for the fact that it gives off virtually no evidence of its presence — despite the fact that it’s a major threat that causes thousands of deaths per year.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help. We provide the very best radon testing and radon mitigation services in Littleton and nearby parts of Colorado, helping our clients become aware of any radon issues that may be impacting their structures — and immediately remedying these problems so your health is not impacted negatively. If you’re just learning about radon for the first time, you may be wondering why it’s so often discussed as a “silent” threat (or even a silent killer, in some cases). Here are the qualities that make radon so tough to identify, plus which make it so dangerous.

Defining Radon

Firstly, before we move further, let’s take a quick step back and establish what radon actually is. Radon is a gas that’s part of the uranium decay process, and it’s all around us in very small quantities that aren’t cause for alarm. However, when these quantities become concentrated — typically as a result of being trapped in an enclosed space like your home — they can create a situation that’s very dangerous to your health.

Once radon is present in your home, it can quickly become concentrated to levels that cause major health concerns. In fact, the EPA estimates that radon is responsible for causing roughly 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States alone — and this is a conservative estimate, as it’s tough to attribute lung cancer fatalities specifically to radon exposure in many cases.

How Does Radon Get In?

There are two primary ways that radon can make its way into your home. The first has to do with the fact that, as we noted, it’s all around us in very small quantities. Soil typically contains trace amounts of uranium, which is where radon comes from, and this gas can seep up through cracks or other openings in your foundation and enter your home that way.

The second common entry point for radon is through well water. If your home gets its water from a private well, there’s a chance that this water contains radon that’s dissolved within it. When you use this water for cooking or bathing, the radon gas is then introduced into the air of your home.

Why Is Radon So Dangerous?

There are two main qualities that make radon so dangerous: The fact that it’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless; and the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to identify without taking special steps.

These qualities make it impossible to know if you’re being exposed to dangerous levels of radon simply by being in your home — and unfortunately, the effects of exposure can take years or even decades to manifest, meaning that many people don’t realize they have a problem until it’s too late.

For instance, you may not start to experience symptoms of lung cancer until 20 years or more after the initial exposure to radon. This is one of the primary reasons that the EPA recommends all homeowners have their homes tested for radon at least once every two years: Because it’s the only way to be absolutely certain that you’re not being exposed to dangerous levels of the gas.

What Levels of Radon Are Considered Safe?

The EPA has set 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air as the “action level” for radon. In other words, if the level of radon in your home is at or below this threshold, no action needs to be taken.

However, if a test comes back with levels above this threshold, it’s important to take action to mitigate the problem as soon as possible. The higher the level of radon in your home, the more quickly you should take steps to address the issue.

In addition, there are many cases where the EPA will recommend or at least suggest radon mitigation if your home has levels of radon between 2.0 and 3.9 pCi/L. While these levels aren’t technically considered “dangerous,” they’re still considerably higher than what’s typically found in the outdoor air, so it’s worth taking steps to reduce your exposure if possible.

The Dangers of Inaction

If you’ve had your home tested for radon and the results come back showing levels that are at or above the EPA’s action level, it’s important to take steps to mitigate the problem as soon as possible.

The longer you wait, the greater your risk of exposure — and as we noted, the effects of this exposure may not be immediately apparent. So even if you’re not showing any symptoms now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t develop serious health problems down the road as a result of radon exposure.

Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to mitigate radon in your home, and most of them are relatively simple and inexpensive. For instance, in many cases, all that’s needed is the installation of a simple ventilation system that will help to remove radon from your home before it has a chance to build up to dangerous levels.

If you’re concerned about radon in your home, the best thing you can do is to have it tested as soon as possible. Contact our team at Absolute Radon Safety today for radon testing or mitigation needs anywhere in Littleton or nearby parts of Colorado; we can’t wait to help you make your home safer and free of these risks.

issues testing radon yourself

There are certain areas of our lives where do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches are quite effective and viable, but also others where they generally should not be attempted. Others also ride the line here, and a good example is radon testing — while it’s certainly possible to test for radon levels in your home on your own, there are a few important reasons why it’s typically not recommended.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re happy to offer the very best radon testing and radon mitigation programs available in Colorado, removing any risks that may be present for those attempting to DIY this important area. While at-home DIY radon tests do exist, here are some of the potential drawbacks that come with utilizing them — and some of the reasons why leaving these tests to the professionals is generally the prudent move.

Improper DIY Test Kit Placement

Most of the DIY radon tests you’ll find on the market require you to place them in a specific location within your home for an extended period of time — typically 2-90 days, depending on the type of test being used. The problem here is that many people do not realize how important proper test kit placement is, and as a result will often put their kits in places where they may not get an accurate reading.

For example, many people will put their test kits in their basements without realizing that the results may not be representative of the rest of the house if radon is only present in certain areas. Other common mistakes include putting the test kit too close to a window or door, where drafts can impact results, or in an area where there is a lot of background radiation (such as near an x-ray machine).

All of these factors can play a role in getting inaccurate results from your test, which in turn can lead to either a false sense of security or undue worry about the radon levels in your home.

DIY Test Kits May Not Meet EPA Standards

In other cases, the problem with DIY radon tests is not necessarily one of placement, but rather that the test kit itself may not meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for accuracy. The EPA has established very specific protocols that must be followed in order to ensure reliable results from a radon test, and many of the DIY kits on the market do not meet these standards.

As a result, these DIY kits may not be able to provide accurate readings of the radon levels in your home, which means you could end up either underestimating or overestimating the risk that’s present.

Impact of AC or Other HVAC

In some situations, especially if your test is placed too close to a vent or other opening, the results of your test may be impacted by your home’s air conditioning or other HVAC system. This is because these systems can circulate air throughout the house, which can in turn impact the concentration of radon present in any given area.

If you’re using a DIY test kit, it’s important to be aware of this potential issue and to take steps to avoid it if possible. One way to do this is to place your test kit in an area that’s as far away from any vents or other openings as possible, but this is often not practical or possible in many homes.

As a result, it’s often best to leave radon testing to the professionals instead.

Waiting for Results

With at-home radon test kits, you generally have to collect your sample, then send the results out to a lab to be analyzed. This process can take a week or more, which means you could be left in limbo for quite some time before you get your results back.

This isn’t necessarily a big issue if you’re just testing for peace of mind, but if you believe that there may be high levels of radon present in your home, waiting for results could put you and your family at unnecessary risk in the meantime.

Simply Less Accurate

And on the simplest level, even if you do everything properly with your at-home test kit, there’s just no getting around the fact that these tests are generally less accurate than ones performed by professionals. This is because professional testers have access to more sophisticated equipment and techniques, which means they can usually get more accurate readings.

Re-Testing May Be Necessary

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you do get accurate results from your DIY radon test, you may still need to have the property re-tested by a professional later on. This is because radon levels can fluctuate over time, and what may have been a safe level when you tested may no longer be safe a few months or years down the road.

Go With the Pros

For all of the reasons we’ve gone over here, plus for simple peace of mind when it comes to something as important as your family’s health, it’s usually best to leave radon testing to the professionals. These trained experts have the experience and expertise necessary to get accurate readings, which in turn can help you make the best decisions about protecting your family from this invisible killer.

If you’re concerned about radon in your home, contact our team at Absolute Radon Safety today. We’ll immediately help you set up an appointment to test your home for radon and determine if further action is necessary.

questions answers radon mitigation maintenance

Maintenance is a key factor for any kind of mechanical or related system in your home or on your property, and being cognizant of it in several different areas is important. This also goes for any new installations made within your property, and one good example here is a radon mitigation system that may be installed in your home to stop harmful radon gas from creating health risks to you and your family.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re happy to offer the very best radon mitigation systems and testing programs in Colorado, ensuring you’re not at-risk of any of radon’s health concerns. We’ll also assist clients with understanding the needs for maintenance of such systems — though as you’ll find out as you read further today, part of the value of our systems is how little upkeep they actually require from homeowners. Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked about radon mitigation system maintenance, plus the simple answers.

Do I Need to Perform any Radon Mitigation System Maintenance?

First and foremost, many clients are simply wondering whether they need to do any kind of upkeep for their radon mitigation system at all. The answer is yes — but in most cases, this maintenance is extremely simple and can be done without the assistance of a professional. In general, you’ll want to check the system’s components (which will all be clearly labelled) every few months to ensure that everything is still firmly in place and functional. If you do notice any issues, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Let’s go over some further detail to help you understand.

What Are the Components of a Radon Mitigation System?

For those looking to fully understand their system and any minor upkeep needs that might be required, knowing about the simple components it uses can go a long way. Here are the basic components of a radon mitigation system and how they work:

  • A radon fan: The key component of most radon mitigation systems is a radon fan unit, which is installed to create depressurization within your home. This lowering of air pressure will stop radon gas from being able to enter through any cracks or gaps in the foundation — and it will eventually be released outside where it can dissipate harmlessly.
  • A PVC pipe: A PVC pipe is then used to transport this gas from beneath your home up to the roof, where the fan will be installed. Once the fan is in place, it will work to expel the gas outside instead of letting it remain trapped beneath your home.
  • A drain tile: In some cases (depending on the soil type beneath your home), a drain tile may also be used as part of the system. This tile is placed around the foundation’s perimeter and will work to collect any radon gas that might have seeped in before it has a chance to rise up through your home.
  • A power supply: In some other cases, a dedicated power supply may need to be installed as part of the system. This will be placed near the fan unit and will work to ensure that it has a consistent power source, no matter what the weather conditions might be outside.
  • Manometer device: Finally, a manometer device may also be installed as part of the system. This is a simple device that helps to measure the air pressure within your home, and it can be used to ensure that the fan unit is working properly.

As you can see, most of these components are quite simple — and they shouldn’t require any complicated maintenance or upkeep on your part.

Checking the Manometer and System

When it comes to system maintenance or upkeep for your radon mitigation system, there often isn’t much to do — as we’ve noted several times here, these systems are mostly self-sufficient, and should not require a ton of regular attention. However, the one area that you will want to check on a semi-regular basis is the manometer, which (as we noted above) helps to measure the air pressure within your home.

Specifically, your radon mitigation system installer will tell you the exact readings you’re looking for from the manometer — and which readings might signal a problem, such as an issue where your fan has stopped working for some reason. Nearly any issue that might arise with your system will show itself through the readings on the manometer, so it’s important to keep an eye on it. If you’re unsure of what to look for or how to interpret these readings, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

In general, you should only need to check on the system every few months to ensure that everything is still firmly in place and functional. However, if you do notice any issues, give us a call.

Ensure Continuous Power

In cases where your home’s existing power supply is being used to power the fan unit, you’ll also want to make sure that this power source is always working properly. The last thing you want is for your system to suddenly stop working because of an issue with the power — and in some cases, this could mean that harmful radon gas is once again able to enter your home unchecked.

For most people, simply checking on the power source every few months to ensure that it is still in good working condition will be sufficient. However, if you live in an area with particularly severe weather conditions (such as hurricanes or severe thunderstorms), you may want to check on it more frequently to ensure that everything is still in good working order.

For more on the limited areas of radon mitigation system maintenance you should know about, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation programs, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

symptoms radon gas exposure

There are several simple factors that make radon gas dangerous, and one of these is the difficulty in identifying it. Radon gas is odorless, tasteless and otherwise virtually impossible to detect with normal human senses, making it more troublesome than some other home risks — a key way of identifying it, in fact, is typically due to physical symptoms experienced as a result of radon exposure (in cases where testing has not been done, that is).

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to offer quality radon testing services that allow you to detect radon in your home well before any major physical symptoms of exposure are present. However, if testing has not been done, you might also notice the presence of radon gas based on physical symptoms you or others in your home experience. Here’s a rundown of some of these symptoms and what they might be telling you.

Possible Radon Entry Points

Before we get to the symptoms, it’s important to understand a little more about how radon enters your home in the first place. Radon gas is produced as a result of the natural radioactive decay of uranium found in rocks and soil — it typically enters homes through cracks in walls or foundations, gaps around service pipes, or any other openings that exist between the home’s foundation and the outside air.

Radon is particularly troublesome because it can build up to high concentrations indoors, where it becomes a serious health hazard. In fact, the EPA estimates that radon gas is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States — that’s more than deaths caused by car accidents or alcohol abuse!

Lung Cancer Connection

As we just noted, radon has a direct link to lung cancer, and is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths here each year. And unfortunately, this connection is also present in terms of the common symptoms of radon exposure — many of which will mimic the symptoms that come with lung cancer.

For this reason, most of the symptoms we go over in the rest of this blog will have crossover with those that come with lung cancer.

Persistent Cough and Hoarseness

One of the first and most common symptoms you might experience as a result of radon exposure is a persistent cough that doesn’t seem to go away, no matter what you do. This cough might also be accompanied by hoarseness, and can become more frequent over time as radon exposure continues.

These symptoms are often mistaken for those of a cold or other common illness, but if they persist for weeks or longer without any sign of abating, it could be an indication that radon exposure is to blame.

Wheezing and Shortness of Breath

Radon exposure can also cause wheezing and shortness of breath, as the gas can irritate your lungs and make it difficult to breathe properly. These symptoms might be mild at first, but can become more severe over time as radon exposure continues.

If you experience wheezing or shortness of breath and also have a history of smoking, it’s particularly important to get tested for radon exposure, as your risk of lung cancer will be much higher.

Coughing Up Blood

As we progress into more serious symptoms, coughing up blood is one that should be cause for major concern. If you’re coughing up blood at all, it’s important to see a doctor immediately, but if you’ve been exposed to high levels of radon gas, this could be a sign that the exposure has damaged your lungs.

It’s also possible to experience this symptom without any prior history of smoking, which is another reason why radon testing is so important.

Lung Infections

Radon exposure can also lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which can eventually lead to lung infections. These infections might be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Pneumonia is one of the most common infections associated with radon exposure, but it’s also possible to develop more serious infections like tuberculosis. If you experience any symptoms of a lung infection, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Another common such infection is bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis can cause a host of other symptoms like coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

Loss of Appetite

In many cases, people who are suffering from radon exposure will also experience a loss of appetite. This can lead to weight loss, as well as fatigue and weakness. If you’re experiencing a loss of appetite and any of the other symptoms on this list, it’s important to get tested for radon exposure.

Fatigue and Weakness

As we just noted, a loss of appetite can lead to fatigue and weakness, but these symptoms can also be caused by radon exposure itself. If you’re feeling tired all the time, even after getting a full night’s sleep, it could be an indication that you’re being exposed to high levels of radon gas.

Weight Loss

If you’re experiencing weight loss with no other simple explanation, it could be a sign that you’re being exposed to radon gas. This is particularly true if you’re also experiencing other symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and a loss of appetite.

For more on the symptoms that are often caused by radon exposure, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation solutions, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

Denver Metro Association of Realtors

About Us

Absolute Radon Safety, based in Denver, is a company that specializes in radon mitigation of your home. We specialize in creating a safe environment for your family.

Our Services

© 2022 Absolute Radon Safety | All Rights Reserved