Radon

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless and tasteless. It is formed from the radioactive decay of uranium. Uranium is found in small amounts in most rocks and soil. It slowly breaks down to other products such as radium, which breaks down to radon. Radon also undergoes radioactive decay. It divides into two parts-one part is called radiation, and the other part is called a daughter. The daughter, like radon, is not stable, and it also divides into radiation and another daughter. The dividing of daughters continues until a stable, nonradioactive daughter is formed. During the decay process, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation are released. Alpha particles can travel only a short distance and cannot travel through your skin. Beta particles can penetrate through your skin, but they cannot go all the way through your body. Gamma radiation can go all the way through your body.

What happens to radon when it enters the environment?

  • Radon enters the environment from the soil, from uranium and phosphate mines, and from coal combustion.
  • Radon has a radioactive half-life of about 4 days; this means that one-half of a given amount of radon will decay to other products every 4 days.
  • Some of the radon produced in the soil will move to the surface and enter the air.
  • Radon daughters attach to dust and other particles in the air.
  • Most of the radon will remain in the soil.
  • Radon also moves from the soil and enters the groundwater.

How might I be exposed to radon?

  • Radon is found at very low levels in outdoor air.
  • It is found at higher levels in indoor air in homes, schools, and office buildings.
  • Cracks in the basement or foundation of a home may allow higher levels of radon inside the home.
  • Indoor radon levels are affected by the radium and uranium levels in soil, the porosity of the soil, the composition and condition of the foundation materials, and the ventilation rate of the room.
  • Miners, particularly those who mine uranium and hard rock, are exposed to higher levels of radon.
  • Radon is found in drinking water and may be higher in well water.

How can radon affect my health?

Exposure to high levels of radon may result in an increased incidence of lung diseases, such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. These diseases have been seen at a higher rate than normal among underground miners who were also exposed to arsenic, silica dust, diesel fumes, and cigarette smoke. Lung disease has been reported to increase with increasing exposure to radon and cigarette smoking. Effects on the lung have also been seen in animals exposed to radon.

For more information about radon visit:
 http://www.epa.gov/radon.

For A Citizen’s Guide to Radon visit: 
Radon Brochure 2016

Washington County:

The average national indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L.
The average indoor radon levels of Washington County, as determined by radon test results from
Air Chek, Inc, is 7.5 pCi/L.


   Results under 2 pCi/L

   Results between 2 and 3.9 pCi/L

   Results 4 pCi/L and above

 

Dodge County:

The average national indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L.
The average indoor radon levels of Dodge County, as determined by radon test results from
Air Chek, Inc, is 7.0 pCi/L.

 

   Results under 2 pCi/L

   Results between 2 and 3.9 pCi/L

   Results 4 pCi/L and above

 

 

Saunders County:

The average national indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L.
The average indoor radon levels of Saunders County, as determined by radon test results from
Air Chek, Inc, is 7.8 pCi/L.


   Results under 2 pCi/L

   Results between 2 and 3.9 pCi/L

   Results 4 pCi/L and above

 

If you are interested in testing the radon levels in your home, come to Three Rivers Public Health Department to pick up your FREE kit today. Keep in mind our grant specifies a certain number of kits per county, so it is first come first serve until our allotments have been exhausted.

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Three Rivers Public Health Department

2400 North Lincoln Avenue, Fremont, NE 68025  ~  402-727-5396 / 1-866-727-5396
Serving Dodge, Saunders & Washington Counties in Eastern Nebraska

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