Radon gas is the second-largest cause of lung cancer in the United States, behind smoking, and is responsible for around 21,000 lung cancer related deaths each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, one out of every fifteen houses in the United States contains hazardous radon levels.
So, what exactly is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas that may be dangerous to people and animals at high concentrations. Radon gas exposure is created by the decay of uranium inside the soil; the radon gas rises and enters a building’s foundation via cracks and other flaws. The fact that this gas is odorless and unseen to humans makes it so lethal. It does not create acute health issues, but long-term exposure does. As a result, detecting radon problems in your house or company requires special consideration and equipment.
This article will find the best radon detectors and reliable ways to ensure that you are safe from radon gas.
Why Do You Need a Radon Detector?
Long-term or high-concentration radon exposure may be fatal and lead to long-term health concerns such as lung cancer. You can identify elevated radon levels in your home or workplace with a radon gas detector or radon test kit and avoid unwanted exposure to this hazardous gas. If your building tests positive for radon, you may take the necessary precautions to avoid additional exposure.
Radon poisoning may not cause symptoms immediately. Instead, health consequences caused by the exposure, such as lung cancer, manifest years later. Lung cancer may begin as a persistent cough, shortness of breath, or wheezing. Other symptoms include chest pain, coughing up blood, and weight loss without trying. Call your doctor if you encounter any of these symptoms.
No normal medical tests can determine whether you have inhaled too much radon. In addition, there are no therapies that will remove it from your body. However, if you believe you have been exposed, consult your doctor about whether you should undergo testing to look for lung cancer indications.
Sealing any cracks or holes in the building’s foundation is one approach to reducing radon gas exposure.
Best Radon Detectors
Airthings Corentium Home Radon Portable Detector 223
The Airthings Corentium Home Radon Detector features a basic design and a big enough LCD screen to provide all pertinent information. The two designs offered are European and American. Although the operation is the same, the readings are in different units. The American version has a picocurie per liter, while the European version has a Becquerel per liter.
The LCD screen is the detector’s most significant component. The 2-inch LCD screen is big enough to display all the information and concentrations right away. The panel displays both the long-term average and the short-term average at the same time. Three AAA batteries power the gadget. The body of the detector is entirely constructed of plastic and there are no controls. There is also a keyhole if you wish to hang the gadget. It is recommended to place it in the center of the room.
Within 24 hours, you will see the first indication of your radon levels. There is nothing to submit to a lab, and there are no costs. Accuracy increases with time: after 7 days, it is within 10% of real radon levels, and after 2 months, it is within 5%. To try a new environment, just reset your device.
In terms of installation, there is nothing required. All you have to do is insert the batteries, and you are ready to go. The most crucial part of the detector, however, is where you set it. Although it may be hung on the wall, most of the radiation is located in the basement. Thus, you should always set the detector on the floor or in the center of the room. Reading the Corentium Home Radon Detector instructions will give you a better insight.
Airthings 2950 Wave Smart Radon Detector with Humidity & Temperature Sensor
The Wave is a standard smoke detector, a 4.6-inch-wide, 1.4-inch-tall white puck with a silver-colored ring around the perimeter. On the top panel, a circle of pinholes indicates the speaker. In contrast, two bigger holes along the edge indicate the sensors. When you wave your hand over the gadget, a colorful LED ring in the middle of the screen, signals the air quality by illuminating green, yellow, or red. The Wave’s rear panel is covered by a magnetic cover that can be attached to the wall or ceiling with a single screw. Behind it are two AA battery slots. According to Airthings, a pair of AA batteries can power the Wave for up to 1.5 years.
The free Airthings Wave app for Android and iOS allows you to monitor your air quality. The app communicates with the Wave through Bluetooth and provides a continuous readout of radon levels, temperature, and humidity. In addition, the data are color-coded, so you can see whether radon levels are dangerously high at a look.
A chart view shows radon levels over various periods. The Wave is a Bluetooth gadget that does not link to the internet or your home network; you can only track it with your mobile device while in Bluetooth range.
One of the best features of Wave is its simplicity. It’s a single unit, and Airthings made its installation feasible. The Wave comes with a single screw and a magnetic plate to which it is attached. Screw the plate into the ceiling (or another location) and then position the Wave on top of it. The magnet is powerful enough to keep the Wave from falling but not so strong that you can’t remove it for different reasons. The idea is great since it eliminates the need for difficult installation procedures merely to have one detector installed. You also don’t have to be disappointed when it is time to change the battery. Simply hold it and pull it away from the magnetic plate.
Ecosense RD200 RadonEye Home Radon Detector
RD200 is one of the most popular radon detectors. The smart features are the main reason for its high sales. With the RD200, you may see the results on your phone. It works with both iOS and Android via Bluetooth. To detect radon, it employs an innovative dual structure pulsed ion chamber. The overall device is quite small and light. It is barely 0.16 ounces in weight.
Furthermore, the dimensions are 3.1 x 3.1 x 4.7 inches, which is relatively compact. The good news is that it works with a power source as well as two AA batteries. It has a cylindrical structure in terms of shape, and the whole body is constructed of plastic.
The top LCD screens give all of the fundamental reading. The unit uses pCi/L, which is often used to measure radon in the United States. In addition to the reading, it displays Bluetooth, vibration, and on/off indicators. The reading is presented in graphs, making it simple to interpret. Every 10 minutes, the data is refreshed, so you are well informed on the radon level trend in your house. Local savings and downloads are also available.
Because of its cylindrical shape, it may be set on any flat surface. You won’t have any problems if you use batteries, however, if you wish to power it with an AC supply, you must locate the closest power outlet as the power wire isn’t too long. Aside from that, installation requires little effort. It is just plug-and-play. You may, however, need one unit per room. Several units are needed, especially if your home has a carpet area of more than 800 square feet. Hence, you should determine your needs before making a purchase.
If you connect your smartphone to the detector, it will only connect through Bluetooth. Therefore, you must ensure that you are within 10 meters of the device. When the phone is within range, and the detector is turned on, you may see the list of Bluetooth devices. Simply connect to it. Additionally, the radon eye rd200 app is free. After connecting the detector to your phone, you simply download it from the Google Play store and launch the app. Within 10 minutes, the app displays the reading. The minimum time between new readings is 10 minutes.
Airthings 2930 Wave Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor
The Airthings 2930 Wave Plus air quality monitor provides comprehensive data on six indoor air quality factors: total VOCs (airborne compounds), humidity, temperature, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), air pressure, and radon. As it does not monitor particle matter, it does not have a PM 2.5 or PM 10 rating.
The Airthings Wave Plus is approximately the size of a smoke detector. There are no indicator lights that remain on all the time to bother you and do not stick out in a room. It may be mounted on a wall or placed on a shelf. On the back, a detachable plate may be fixed to the wall, and a magnetic plate holds the main unit to the wall mount. There is just one mounting screw available.
The backplate also contains the Airthings Wave Plus’s two batteries. The Wave Plus is powered by two AA batteries, which should last up to 16 months. Suppose you don’t want to launch the app. In that case, you may wave your palm in front of the device to get a color-coded visual representation of the overall air quality: Green (excellent), Yellow (fair), and Red (poor). For those who like home automation, it also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. Unfortunately, HomeKit from Apple is not supported.
Ecosense EQ100 EcoQube Smart Continuous Radon Detector for Home
The EcoQube EQ100 is a high-quality radon detector designed for easy household usage. After you turn it on, you should get the first results in around 10 minutes. Because of the detector’s sensitivity of 30 counts per hour per picocuries per liter, there is high accuracy.
Keeping track of the radon detected, if any, is straightforward, owing to the detector’s Wi-Fi capabilities. It is simple to connect to your house or building Wi-Fi, and from there, you can rapidly monitor the radon levels in the region even if you are not in the building. The results are also kept secret since they are only provided to you. Because of its cube construction, this detector is unlike any other. If you don’t want to check your phone app for information, you may always look at the cube to learn about radon levels. This is because it includes a color-coded LED arrangement on the front of the device that changes depending on the radon levels in the region.
Moreover, this device has a 12-month warranty. The program has a graph vs. time option that gives excellent clarity. However, you need to ensure that you have an internet connection to view the data and that it doesn’t have a reset setting.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Radon?
Radon-resistant strategies may help to keep radon away. When properly and fully implemented, these easy and affordable solutions may help lower indoor radon levels in houses. Furthermore, installing new radon-resistant construction makes it simpler and less costly to further lower radon concentration if these passive measures do not reduce radon levels to less than 4 pCi/L. Even if the house was designed radon-resistant, it should be inspected after installation. If radon levels remain over 4 pCi/L, a certified radon mitigator should install a vent fan to activate the passive system.
Although radon cannot be seen, it is easy to determine whether you have radon exposure in your house. You just need to test for radon. Radon testing is simple and should take just a few minutes of your time. Radon levels in the air are measured in “picocuries per liter of air” or “pCi/L.” There are several low-cost “do it yourself” radon test kits available via the mail and at certain hardware shops and other retail outlets. In addition, you may pay a certified tester to undertake the testing for you.
Short-term testing is the most efficient approach to testing. Short-term testing might last anywhere from two days to 90 days in your home, depending on the equipment. For short-term testing, the most popular detectors are charcoal canisters, alpha track, electret ion chamber, continuous monitors, and charcoal liquid scintillation. As radon levels change from day to day and season to season, a short-term test is less likely to reveal your year-round average radon level than a long-term test. Long-term testing may be kept at your house for up to 90 days. For this type of testing, Alpha track and electret detectors are commonly used.
It is recommended to install a radon mitigation system. Radon mitigation refers to any procedure or technology used to minimize radon levels in buildings. The radon mitigation system aims to keep the indoor radon level as low as possible. All systems should lower radon levels to less than the EPA action limit of 4 pCi/L. A good radon mitigation system may lower year-round levels to less than 2 pCi/L.
Living With Radon
When you breathe, radon gas decays into radioactive particles that may get stuck in your lungs. These particles emit tiny bursts of energy as they degrade further. Over time, this may cause lung tissue damage and eventually lead to lung cancer. However, not everyone who is exposed to high amounts of radon develops lung cancer. And the period elapsed between exposure and illness onset might be several years. The amount of radon health concerns, like those of other environmental contaminants, is unknown. However, radon is more dangerous than most other cancer-causing chemicals.
The combination of smoking and radon poses an exceptionally substantial health danger. Thus, it is crucial to reduce your risk of lung cancer by quitting smoking and lowering your radon level.
Children have been reported to be at a higher risk of some forms of cancer from radiation than adults. Still, there is no convincing evidence on this.
Radon detectors are equally as crucial as smoke alarms, safety siren pro, or combustible gas monitors for your safety and wellbeing. When moving to a new house, getting the property tested for radon levels is an excellent idea. If they are high, remedial measures should be conducted, and a radon detector fitted.
There are various aspects to consider in order to choose the best radon detector for your situation. For example, a portable detector is essential if you’re monitoring radon contamination in various buildings. Perhaps if you’re searching in an area without a nearby outlet, a battery-powered gadget is appropriate.
The cost of a radon detector must also be considered. Various high-end gadgets are available, but many are best suited to long-term monitoring. If you just need something for a short period of time, consider more affordable options. However, the most critical element to consider is accuracy. For accuracy, the top five picks above would be great options for you.
Lastly, it is recommended to retest your property once it has been repaired to ensure that radon levels have been decreased.