Airthings has unveiled a device for the smart home that detects the presence of radon.
Airthings Wave, which is this week being showcased for the first time at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, alerts householders to the presence of a gas which is believed to be the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Tens of thousands of deaths globally are attributed to radon, including 21,000 Americans – more than six times the number of deaths attributed annually to house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning combined.
Until now tests for radon usually involve charcoal canisters, which take a snapshot of radon levels and only provide results after samples have been sent for analysis in a lab. The constant, real-time monitoring offered by Airthings Wave represents a meaningful advance given that radon levels fluctuate depending on climate, ventilation levels and time of year, among other factors.
The rise of the internet of things has emboldened Airthings to believe that radon monitoring could – and should – become as affordable and commonplace as smoke detection.
The device alerts householders to dangerous levels of radon in the environment with a red warning light, while amber signals cause for concern and green means levels are safe. An audio alert is also emitted when radon levels are high, as well as when the battery is low.
The Airthings Wave app, which connects via Bluetooth, can segment radon levels into daily, weekly, monthly or yearly periods to help users spot and understand trends in radon levels.
Airthings Wave also includes temperature and humidity sensors, which can help give early warning of incipient mould formation. based on Based on data accumulated customised tips are given to help users improve air quality.
When dangerously high radon levels persist for a period exceeding national guidelines (48 hours in the US, for example), the user will be notified and receive recommendations on how to reduce radon in their home.
Airthings Wave is wireless and fully battery-powered, with the manufacturer claiming that two AA batteries will be adequate for two years’ use.
“Every home should have a radon detector, and it’s our mission at Airthings to make that happen,” said Oyvind Birkenes, Airthings CEO, in a statement. “We’re seeing increased attention to radon exposure, thanks to initiatives from the EPA and legislation at the state level.
“These are encouraging developments and pave the way for Wave’s progressive technology to provide consumers with invaluable information and peace of mind that their homes are healthy for themselves and their families.”
The Airthings Wave smart radon gas detector will cost $200 (£160) when it launches in the US in early March.