The danger of radon gas in our Missouri and Arkansas homes

Is there radon gas in your home?

EPA findings show high incidence of radon in Missouri, Arkansas

Odorless radon gas occurs naturally as uranium decomposes, but it’s presence can’t be predicted or confirmed without testing for it. Radon in the soil is especially common in Missouri and Arkansas, but that’s not the problem. The problem comes when radon gas gets into enclosed spaces.

The Environmental Protection Agency data show most counties in Arkansas and Missouri as Zone 2, meaning radon levels in these counties range from 2 – 4 pCi/L, higher than the EPA’s “acceptable” threshold of 2 pCi/L.

In Arkansas, these counties are rated as Zone 1 (less than or equal to 2 pCi/L):

 

  • Benton
  • Carroll
  • Boon
  • Marion
  • Baxter
  • Fulton
  • Sharp
  • Randolph
  • Searcy
  • Stone
  • Izard
  • Independence
  • Montgomery
  • Garland

Arkansas has no Zone 3 (more than 4 pCi/L) areas.

Missouri, on the other hand, while mostly Zone 2, does have all three radon zones. In addition to the Zone 2 counties are:

Zone 1

  • Atchison
  • Nodaway
  • Holy
  • Andrew
  • Buchman
  • Clinton
  • Platte
  • Clay
  • Jackson
  • Cass
  • Iron

 

 

Zone 3

  • Butler
  • Stoddard
  • Scott
  • Mississippi
  • Pemiscot
  • Dunklin

 

What are the dangers of radon?

There are no safe levels for radon gas. After smoking, in the U.S. radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, even in nonsmokers. Among smokers with radon gas levels in their homes of between 2 to 4 pCi/L, 32 out of 1,000 will contract lung cancer. With levels above 4 pCi/L, 62 out of a 1,000 will develop lung cancer. For nonsmokers, the risk is 4 and 7 out of 1,000, respectively.

The dangers come from exposure to radon gas in enclosed spaces—in your home or business. It seeps in through small cracks or holes in foundations. This is especially true during the winter months and, increasingly, in the summer, when HVAC systems are most active, and buildings are closed to conserve heat or cool air. In the spring and fall months, windows are likely to be open to breezes.

How do I find out if there’s radon in my home?

Because its presence is not predictable, your neighbor may have radon levels lower than 2 pCi/L, but yours may be over 4 pCi/L, and vice versa.

Testing is the only way to know if there are dangerous levels of radon in your home. Tests by certified radon contractors are relatively inexpensive. The benefits of professional testing include peace of mind and a hassle-free testing process. Home test kits need to be sent off to a lab and the results are not always indicative of true radon levels. A comprehensive test can take up to 96 hours and, except for normal entry and exit, doors and windows must remain closed during the test.

Contact us for more information about radon gas and to schedule your test.

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