What is Radon?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines Radon as a gaseous radioactive element having the symbol Rn. Radon is measured in Pico curries per liter of air (pCi/L).

It is further defined as an extremely toxic, colorless gas that can be condensed to a transparent liquid and to an opaque, glowing solid. It is derived from the radioactive decay of radium, the source of which is earth and rock beneath homes, well water, and building materials.

Further the EPA states there are no immediate symptoms of Radon… however , it estimates that up to 30,000 lung cancer deaths each year can in fact be traced to high levels of Radon exposure.

To date, the only health effect according to the EPA, which has been definitively linked to radon exposure, is lung cancer. It is important to know that smokers are at a higher risk of developing Radon-induced lung cancer.

The EPA, to date, has not published or disclosed evidence that other respiratory diseases, such as asthma, are caused by radon exposure and maintains there is no evidence that children are at any greater risk of radon induced lung cancer than adults.

The EPA suggests action be taken when a home has Radon levels that equal or exceed 4pCi/l.

Radon is also found in water. If your drinking water comes from a surface water source such as a river, lake, or reservoir, it is likely that any radon that might be present is released into the air before reaching your water supplier or home.

THE MASSACHUSETTS RADON AND WATER ACTION LEVEL IS 10,000(pCi/L)
THE RHODE ISLAND RADON AND WATER ACTION LEVEL IS 5,000(pCi/L)

Radon is a concern if your drinking water comes from an underground source, such as well that pumps water from an aquifer. This is not to say all well water contains radon.

Homeowners who obtain water from a public water system (city, town, or regional) can obtain information about Radon levels in drinking water in accordance with the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. You will receive annual water quality reports that will tell you what is in your water, including Radon if it has been tested, where your water comes from, and how it is being treated.