Where Does Radon Come From?
Radon is a byproduct of radioactive elements decaying in the Earth. As deposits of uranium and thorium decompose underground, radon is produced and floats upwards into the atmosphere. When radon dissipates into the air outside, it is diluted and harmless. However, there are plenty of cases when it enters into buildings and becomes trapped. Small cracks in the foundation, gaps around utility lines, and other openings allow radon in. Once it is inside, it cannot escape and builds up. When this happens, you face the dangers of radon in your own home.
What are the Dangers of Radon?
Radon is unhealthy to breathe and is known to cause lung cancer after prolonged exposure. Among non-smokers, it is the most common cause of lung cancer. The dangers of radon are amplified because the gas is invisible and odorless. There is no way to detect it in your home without a specialized test. Symptoms of lung cancer may not arise until the disease has progressed, so you cannot rely on health signs or physical signs of the gas to know there is a problem.
How Do I Protect My Family From the Dangers of Radon?
Because radon cannot be detected without a test, all homes should be tested. The best way to get accurate results is to hire a professional to conduct the test. Certified radon testers use superior equipment than the DIY test from the hardware store. Also, user error often provides false results in DIY tests. With something as serious as lung cancer, it is worth spending more for accurate results.
It doesn’t matter if your neighbor’s home has already been tested. You cannot rely on someone else’s results. Every home has a unique level of vulnerability to radon. Factors include the condition of the foundation, whether there is a basement, how well-sealed the home is, ventilation inside the home, and the house’s location.
What Can Be Done About High Levels?
If your radon test reveals levels of 200 Bq/m3, action should be taken. Luckily, it doesn’t mean you need to move away. Hire a radon mitigation professional to install a radon mitigation system, which works to reduce the levels in your home. After the system is installed, continue to test the radon levels to verify that it is functioning properly.