Are you smarter than the average bear (for those of you familiar with Yogi Bear) when it comes to radon lingo? From the two options below, which one correctly describes radon level measurements: pCi/L or pCi?
When radon is measured and the results are in, how are the results measured/read? You may hear people share the results as .4 (or whatever the level) then the word “picocurie”. This is actually incorrect. A picocurie is not a measurement of volume. You can not have 1, 4 or 99 Rn picocuries floating in the air of your home.
What a picocurie measures is the decay of radioactive atoms per minute. One picocurie is equal to the decay of two radioactive atoms per minute. Four pCi/l is equal to 8-9 atoms decaying every minute in every liter of air inside a home. In layman’s terms a 1,000 square foot house at 4 pCi/l has 2 million decays per minute inside that home every minute of every day. The alpha particles released from the decay is what changes the cell structure in the lungs causing Rn induced lung cancer tumors. There are two alpha particles released so that would mean you’re being hit with 4 million radioactive particles every minute of every day inside your own home.
The EPA homebuyers guide to radon suggests: “Fix the home if the radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher”. It is also recommended to re-measure the radon levels in your home every two years. If it’s time for your home to be re-checked, call SRE HomeServices at 402-970-1350 to set up your appointment.
Written by: Leanna Norquest, Radon Measurement and Mitigation Specialist with SRE HomeServices
- On December 18, 2017
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