Many homeowners are not aware of the dangers of radon in the home. Radon is a radioactive gas that causes health problems. Prolonged exposure to radon has been proven to cause lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers alike. In fact, it is the second-highest cause of lung cancer after cigarettes.
What is Radon?
Radon is formed when uranium decomposes underground. Subsequently, it is released into the natural environment. Any home can have high levels of radon, but some homes were built on an area of high uranium deposits. Radon gas enters buildings through walls, floors, and gaps around piping.
How Do You Find Radon in the Home?
Unlike natural gas for cooking and heating, you can’t smell radon gas. Radon gas has no distinct odor so it is impossible to sense. High levels of radon can be in your home without you being aware of it.
It’s not possible to detect radon without special equipment and training. It is best left to professional radon testers who have high-quality equipment and who know how to administer and interpret the test. Radon is invisible, odorless, and doesn’t cause any immediate symptoms, so rely on professional testing to get accurate results.
How Dangerous is Radon?
Radon in the home is more dangerous the longer you are exposed to it. Indoors, radon gas becomes trapped and concentrated. Levels can rise to 4pCi/L or higher, which is when it becomes a serious concern. It is estimated that radon gas causes an average of 21,000 deaths every year in the United States.
What to Do About High Levels of Radon in the Home
When you are thinking about buying a house, arrange for a professional radon test. Most home inspectors offer radon tests in addition to home inspections. If high levels are found, the inspector will recommend a plan to lower the levels, involving a radon mitigation professional. Radon mitigation includes sealing areas where radon can enter and ventilation existing radon outdoors by installing a special system. While radon mitigation is usually effective, the radon levels should be tested periodically to verify that the levels are safe.