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Where Does Radon Come From?

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

In South Florida, the main source of high indoor radon levels comes from the home or property's building materials.

Up until recently it was believed that there were only two radon exposure mechanisms – radon gas ground source seepage, and off-gassing of radon impacted groundwater.

Both of these mechanisms are very dependent on the geologic location of the home/building structure. High levels are primarily found in areas of the country where high uranium ground sources exist such as the northeast – NY state and Pennsylvania, and the southwest US.

In the low ground source areas such as Florida it was generally assumed that radon was not a major concern and not one that would warrant mandatory testing associated real estate transactions, etc.

Now a third radon exposure mechanism has been discovered that completely reverses the level of concern associated with low ground source radon areas. It is radon exposure from building materials and more specifically, from the aggregate used in concrete that is in many of our homes and building structures.

Recent tests have identified the presence of high indoor radon levels well in excess of the EPA guideline levels in high-rise structures and condominium units specifically, which are located well off the ground. Radon levels exceeding 20 pCi/L or more have been identified in condominium units located 6 stories or higher off the ground. Isolation tests have confirmed that the radon gas is emanating from the formed in-place concrete used in the building construction.

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