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Safety Siren HS71512 Radon Detector

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Something of a one-trick pony, the Safety Siren Radon Detector’s trick’s a decidedly important one. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that’s created when trace amounts of uranium in the rocks and soil around buildings decays. Radon is itself radioactive – breathing significant quantities of radon can increase your risk of lung cancer. The EPA in the United States estimates that 12,000 to 15,000 cases of lung cancer per year result from radon exposure.

Traditionally, testing your digs for radon involved capturing air samples and sending them to a lab for analysis, which was sufficiently slow, expensive and unreliable as to make radon testing about as common as ethical politicians. The threat of radon-related illness didn’t get much ink.

The Safety Siren Radon Detector looks a bit like a smoke alarm, but it detects radon. It will display a numerical value for the number of picocuries per liter of radon. The EPA’s web page, among others, will outline the level of risk for specific radon concentrations.

Radon concentrations are usually highest in your basement, which is closest to the rocks where uranium can be found.

The Safety Siren Radon Detector is easy to use – find a suitable location for it and plug it in. It does take a day to so to collect enough air samples to produce meaningful results. In that it will beat up your credit card for less than two old-style laboratory radon tests, it’s extremely cost effective.

While our detector never got involved with the “siren” portion of its name, it apparently will start screaming if it detects really high levels of radon. You’d probably want to call in the guys in haz-mat suits if this happens.

As an aside, decaying uranium produces very little radon gas, and it escapes from rocks and soil under almost no pressure. As such, if the Safety Siren Radon Detector starts displaying disturbingly large numbers, you can mitigate the radon in your basement. Patching any openings in your foundation, and finishing your basement, will usually drop your radon levels down to something of concern only to laboratory mice. In extreme cases, there are processional radon abatement companies, which will turn up in a white van with lots of hardware in the back and address the problem.

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