What is Radon?
Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found all over the world. Radon comes from the decay of uranium in the soil. As radon decays it releases radiation that can damage the DNA within the human body. You cannot detect radon by smell, sight or taste. The only way to know if you are breathing radon gas is to perform a radon test. Scientists have known that radon gas causes lung cancer for a long time but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that they discovered the risk in homes. Because radon risk is a fairly recent discovery, many citizens of the United States are unaware that the air in their homes may cause lung cancer.
Radon is particularly dangerous because it comes from natural sources and can vary in levels over the course of a year as the seasons and weather conditions change. Your home might test at a lower level one month and then return a much higher reading during a different part of the year. The bright side is that elevated radon levels can be reduced. Affordable mitigation equipment and regular testing are all you need to stay safe in a home known to contain radon. At Protect Environmental we are your licensed and certified experts for both radon testing and mitigation services for your home.
Why is Radon in Your Home Dangerous?
Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that naturally results from the radioactive decay of uranium and other radioactive elements in rocks, soil, and sometimes in the water. As the gas rises, it can become easily trapped inside a structure like a home, office building, daycare, or school. The EPA reports that radon exposure is the second most common cause of lung cancer, following only smoking as a greater risk. If you smoke cigarettes and live in a home with high radon levels, you face a combined threat that may further increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
Radon gas constitutes the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. With the lowest survival rate among cancers, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 21,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer per year1. In 2005, the Surgeon General of the United States issued a national health advisory on radon.
Your risk of leukemia also rises with exposure to radon. Since you’re spending hours at a time in your home inhaling the air, you’re likely going to take in radon as you cook, bathe, and sleep if it’s present in the home’s air supply. Children may be at a higher risk for radon exposure 5 according to some recent studies making daycares and schools especially important areas of concern.
Why Don’t You Hear More About Radon?
If you’re one of the many people who only recently asked, “What is a radon test and why do I even need one?”, you’re not alone. Despite being a major risk factor for lung cancer, there’s only a limited budget for radon awareness campaigns from the EPA and state health organizations. Most states publish brochures and papers warning residents, but these attempts at education often suffer from limited circulation. It’s certainly not front-page news in most parts of the country. Many people go their whole lives without knowing about the risks of radon. By learning about radon, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to limiting your exposure and protecting yourself from its harmful effects.
With most homeowners knowing relatively little about radon gas and its risks, there’s plenty to learn before tackling the problem. Understanding the scope of radon exposure, the parts of the country with the highest levels of gas production, and mitigation costs will prepare you for taking on the challenge.
- Smoking makes radon gas exposure much more likely to trigger lung cancer development. If you smoke, reducing your risk of radon exposure is all the more important.
- The lower your radon levels, the better. When you reach the 1.3 pCi/L level that is normal for indoor air, only two non-smokers out of 1,000 will develop lung cancer specifically due to the exposure.3 It’s impossible to have a zero level in areas where radon is common, but reducing the gas level as much as reasonably possible is worth the effort.
- Radon mitigation systems should be designed and installed depending on the unique needs of the property, its radon levels, and where radon is entering the home. Using a licensed professional radon mitigation contractor is the safest way to lower radon levels in your home.
How Can I Protect My Health?
If you are looking to protect your household from radon, then you need a company that understands the risks that face your family. Radon is a legitimate threat that you cannot see or smell. It could be all around you even though you are unable to perceive it. You need a better understanding of what is going on in the air around you in order to protect yourself. Protect Environmental has the expertise that you need to protect your household from the ongoing threat of deadly radon gas.
Test My Home!
Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.