Radon Testing

Breathe Easy: Know Your Risk

Much of Wyoming, and Gillette and Campbell County specifically, are in a high-risk radon zone (averaging >4 pCi/L). This invisible, odorless gas, radon, originates from the natural breakdown of uranium present in soil and rock. As uranium decays, it emits radioactive particles. One of these particles, radon-222, is a gas that can seep into homes through various entry points, posing serious health risks if left unaddressed. VERIDORN’s radon testing and reports help you understand your home’s environment and make informed decisions for your family’s well-being.

Understanding Radon’s Journey

  • From Rock to Gas: Deep within the earth, uranium in soil and rock undergoes radioactive decay, releasing alpha particles. These alpha particles collide with other atoms, creating radon gas (radon-222).
  • Rising Upwards: Radon gas, being denser than air, tends to move upwards through the ground. In areas like Gillette, geological features can amplify this movement, leading to higher radon concentrations in the soil.
  • Entering Your Home: Cracks in foundations, gaps around pipes, and porous building materials all serve as entry points for radon to seep into your home. Basements and crawl spaces are particularly susceptible due to their proximity to the soil. Your home may be at risk if it is: New, old, well sealed, drafty, built with or without a basement.

Illustration showing radon entering through various points in a building

Radon itself is harmless. However, it decays further, emitting radioactive particles called radon daughters. These daughters are microscopic and easily inhaled. As they stick to dust particles and lodge in your lungs, they can damage lung tissue, increasing your risk of lung cancer over time.

Exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. While the specific health risks at varying radon levels are still under study, the EPA recommends mitigation if your home’s radon level exceeds 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

Taking Action: Mitigation Techniques

If your radon test reveals elevated levels, several mitigation systems can effectively reduce the gas in your home. Common options include:

  • Sub-slab depressurization system: A fan draws radon from beneath the foundation and vents it outside, creating a vacuum effect that prevents further radon entry.
  • Sealing foundation cracks and crawl spaces: Sealing entry points minimizes radon intrusion and is often combined with other methods. This is often unfeasible.
  • Air circulation/purification systems: Whole house air circulation systems (e.g., ERVs) may be suitable for tightly sealed homes where adding radon entry points for depressurization methods is not feasible. However, it does not actively remove radon and should be carefully evaluated for its effectiveness in your specific situation. While not a standalone solution, HEPA filters can help capture radon daughters circulating in the air.

Professional Radon Testing vs. DIY Kits

Radon Tester Logo

While consumer-level radon test kits exist, opting for a professional radon test from VERIDORN offers several significant advantages:

  • Accuracy and Reliability: Our certified professionals ensure proper placement and calibration of testing devices, reducing the risk of inaccurate readings.
  • Knowledge and Interpretation: We go beyond simply providing a number. Our team understands radon guidelines, interprets results, and explains their implications for your health and property.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your test is conducted and interpreted by qualified professionals provides valuable assurance and empowers you to make informed decisions.

DIY Kits

The Wyoming Department of Health offers FREE radon test kits (while supplies last). If you wish to perform a test yourself, it is certainly worthwhile to do so once you understand the basic guidelines below.

When performing a DIY kit: Test kits should be used in the lowest livable level of the home (crawl spaces not included) and placed in a central location. Only start the test once closed conditions have been maintained for 12 hours (i.e., no continuously open doors or windows). Test kits should not be placed near windows, vents or any area that could create a draft around the test kit. This could affect the results. Test kits should also be placed in a manner to prevent them from being kicked, bumped or disturbed. Once complete, follow the instructions on the test kit to send it to the laboratory directly.

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Ensure your new or existing home is safe from radon risks.

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Radon Risk Map

The Wyoming State Geographical Survey provides a map of statewide Radon statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health. This shows that 23 of Wyoming’s counties have elevated levels.

View the WSGS Radon Map

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