If you are concerned about the presence of radon in your home, you are not alone. The fact is that radon is an invisible, odorless gas that may be found in buildings around the world. It is a radioactive gas that is emitted from the ground soil as trace amounts of naturally occurring uranium break down. The gas can enter a building and remain trapped, and this is known to cause as many as 21,000 deaths related to lung cancer each year, according to the EPA.
Radon is an invisible, odorless cancer-causing, radioactive gas that may be found in buildings around the world. You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. Randon is estimated to cause many thousand of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking cause more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Also radon can be found all over the U.S. (See the map below)
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building — homes, offices, and schools — and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.
Testing your home from time to time is a necessity and easy to do. You can easily accomplish this in two different ways.
A Home Radon Test Kit
Regardless of the age or location of your home, you should test your home periodically for the presence of radon. You may be able to purchase a radon test kit at a local home improvement store or even online. These kits are designed to be easy to use and to read, and they can provide you with the information you seek in a short period of time.
A Professional Indoor Air Quality Test
Another option is to hire a professional to complete a full indoor air quality test. This may provide you with more information about the presence of radon, asbestos, mold spores and many other pollutants and particulates that may be making you and your family sick. A professional test may be more comprehensive and sensitive. Furthermore, the results can be more reliable.
If You Have Radon In Your Home – You can fix a radon problem
If you have the unfortunate experience of learning that your home has radon gas inside of it, you may immediately feel stressed and concerned. This is understandable considering this is a known carcinogen. However, while it is important that you take immediate action to cleanse and purify your home’s air, there is not a need to panic. There are numerous filtration and purifier systems that you can invest in that have amazing results. In fact, Radon reduction systems work and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
Even if your home tests clean for radon today, keep in mind that this gas can naturally seep into your home over time. You may consider testing your home periodically for radon at regular intervals for the entire time you live in the space. This will help you to identify a problem in your home and to take action soon to minimize the health risks for you and your loved ones.
New homes can be built with radon-resistant features
Radon-resistant construction techniques can be effective in preventing radon entry. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive techniques can help reduce indoor radon levels in homes. In addition, installing them at the time of construction makes it easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels further if these passive techniques don’t reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. Every new home should be tested after occupancy, even if it was built radon-resistant. If radon levels are still in excess of 4 pCi/L, the passive system should be activated by having a qualified mitigator install a vent fan. For more explanation of radon resistant construction techniques, refer to EPA publication, Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes