If you’re just learning about radon gas for the first time, you might be wondering what the big deal is. This is an odorless, colorless gas that you can basically never detect with simple human senses, so it really can’t be too much of a problem, right?
Wrong. At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to tell you that radon can be a major threat to your health and that of anyone else in your home or building. We offer robust radon testing and mitigation services to ensure this doesn’t become an issue for you — but this starts with you recognizing the importance of radon prevention and contacting our team for assistance. What is radon, why does knowing about it matter, and how can you tell if there are high levels of radon in your home or any other structure? Here’s a basic primer.
As we noted above, radon refers to an invisible, odorless gas that is produced naturally as the uranium in the ground breaks down. While it’s not uncommon to find low levels of radon in the air we breathe every day, this gas can become a problem when it begins to collect in enclosed spaces like homes and buildings.
When present in large enough quantities, radon exposure has been linked to an array of serious health problems, including lung cancer. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon exposure is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States alone.
While any type of home or building can be at risk for high levels of radon, there are certain construction features and geographical areas that can increase the likelihood of this problem. For example, homes with basements or crawl spaces are more likely to have higher-than-normal radon levels, as are those built on bedrock or near bodies of water.
In terms of geographical risk factors, states like Colorado, Minnesota, and North Dakota tend to have higher average indoor radon levels than other parts of the country. However, high radon levels have been reported in every state, so it’s important not to assume your home is in the clear just because you don’t live in a “high-risk” area.
The Dangers of Radon Exposure
So, what exactly are the health risks associated with radon exposure?
As we mentioned, the EPA estimates that radon exposure is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year. In fact, the agency has classified radon as a Group A carcinogen, which means it’s known to cause cancer in humans.
Radon is believed to cause lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. As radon breaks down, it emits tiny particles that can be inhaled. These particles can then get lodged in the lungs, where they release small bursts of radiation. This radiation exposure is what increases your risk for lung cancer.
Notably, smokers who are exposed to radon gas are at an especially high risk for lung cancer, as they’re already damaging their lungs with tobacco smoke.
In addition to lung cancer, radon exposure has also been linked to other health problems, including:
- Chronic bronchitis
If you have any of these conditions or are a smoker, you should be especially vigilant about radon testing and mitigation.
Radon Testing and Mitigation
The only way to know if there are high levels of radon in your home or any other building is to test for it. Radon testing is relatively simple and straightforward, and it can be done with a variety of different devices.
At Absolute Radon Safety, we use state-of-the-art continuous radon monitors to test for this gas. These devices provide real-time readings of radon levels and can be left in place for an extended period of time to get an accurate sense of the problem.
If our testing does reveal high levels of radon, we can then develop a customized mitigation plan to reduce these levels and protect your family or employees from exposure.
Our team has extensive experience designing and installing radon mitigation systems, and we’re confident we can find a solution that works for your specific needs.
Other Ways of Limiting Radon Exposure
In addition to working with a professional radon mitigation company, there are a few other things you can do to limit your exposure to this gas.
For example, if you’re in the process of buying a new home, you can always request a radon test as part of the sale. This will give you some peace of mind and allow you to take action if high levels of radon are found.
You can also take some simple steps to prevent radon from entering your home in the first place. These include:
-Sealing any cracks or openings in your foundation
-Making sure your gutters are clean and in good condition
-Improving ventilation in your basement or crawl space
On top of this, anyone with prolonged exposure to radon should strongly consider stopping or reducing their cigarette smoking habits. This will help to protect their lungs from further damage.
The Bottom Line
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can be found in any type of building, including homes and offices. Unfortunately, exposure to high levels of radon gas can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer.
The good news is that there are ways to test for radon and mitigate its effects. If you’re concerned about this gas, we encourage you to contact us at Absolute Radon Safety today to learn more about our radon testing and mitigation services. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and help you keep your family or employees safe from harm.