What is Radon – Indianapolis, Indiana

What is Radon – Indianapolis

Radon is a naturally occurring chemical element found in the environment. At the normal range of the Earth’s temperatures, radon is Indianapolis Radonin a gaseous form that cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. Most homes have some level of radon gas in them, not just in Indianapolis, Indiana, but also throughout the world.

A unit of measurement called picoCuries per liter is used for describing radon gas levels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes guidelines for safe levels of radon in Indianapolis and throughout the rest of the United States. As long as radon gas levels remain equal to or less than 4.0 picoCuries per liter, the EPA usually does not recommend taking any action. At higher levels, radon gas has the potential to cause health problems and needs to be mitigated to ensure that your home is safe.

Radon Throughout Cities of Indiana

In cities throughout Indiana, including Indianapolis, it is not uncommon to find elevated levels of radon gas due to large deposits of uranium in the soil. Uranium contains radium, the primary source of radon in the environment. As radium breaks down in the soil, houses in Indianapolis become filled with the emitted radon gas.

Radon gas can enter homes in Indianapolis through a variety of means. Cracks in concrete slabs and blocks and spaces between laid brick can allow radon gas to seep into living spaces. Open sumps and crawlspaces and loose pipefittings can also allow radon gas to leak into houses in the Indianapolis area, leading to decreased air quality. Homes with live-in basements in Indianapolis are also more likely to have elevated radon levels.

Indianapolis and the surrounding areas in Marion County lie in an area that the EPA has deemed a “High Radon Potential Zone.” A private radon gas monitoring company tested radon levels throughout Indiana to identify places where residents should particularly be concerned about radon. The company concluded that 40 percent of homes in Indianapolis and surrounding Marion County had radon gas levels above the EPA’s recommended action level.

Radon Health Risks

Breathing in air contaminated with elevated levels of radon gas can cause permanent damage to the lungs. Among nonsmokers, radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer throughout Indianapolis and the rest of the United States, cautions the EPA. Radon is also the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Indianapolis residents at a high risk for lung cancer due to other health problems or their family histories are particularly susceptible to the effects of radon gas.

Health problems from exposure to excessive levels of radon gas do not happen overnight. Homeowners in Indianapolis can purchase kits to test the air quality in their own homes at hardware stores and home improvement centers. Indianapolis residents can also order EPA-certified radon gas testing kits by calling the National Radon Program Services hotline. Using one of these tests is the first step toward mitigating the amount of radon gas in your home.