It’s important to keep your home healthy and safe for you and your family, especially during winter when you spend more time indoors. Make sure your loved ones aren’t at risk by testing for radon in the home.
Exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, following cigarette smoking. Often there are no symptoms until a cancer diagnosis, making exposure especially dangerous.
What is Radon?
Radon is a by-product of the breakdown of radioactive uranium in the soil. The gas can seep through the soil and enter your home via cracks in the foundation or a poorly sealed basement. Over time the gas accumulates. Because radon is colorless and odorless, it cannot be detected except by a test.
Radon in the Home
This gas may be present in shops, schools, or your office building. However, it is most dangerous in your home because you and your family spend so much time there. In most cases, the gas concentration is higher on lower levels, like the basement or first floor of your home. Without adequate ventilation, the radon builds up and increases your exposure.
Risks of Lung Cancer
Long-term radon exposure can lead to lung cancer. Breathing the gas means radon particles are carried into your lungs, where the radioactive material continues to break down. Over time, this will affect the cell growth in lung tissue. Smokers should be aware that their risk for lung cancer increases with exposure to radon.
Have your home tested and talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to high radon levels. Be aware of symptoms like a new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing.
Testing and Mitigation of Radon in the Home
Radon can occur in any home, and it is recommended that every household be tested. If you’re purchasing a new house, talk to your inspector about radon testing. Some home inspectors offer this as an add-on service. If they do not perform testing, your inspector can recommend someone who can.
If your home is found to have high levels of radon, talk to a professional about designing and installing a radon mitigation system. Mitigating this problem may involve sealing gaps and cracks around the property and installing a specialized ventilation system to move the gas out of the home.
Test your home at least every 2 or 3 years for radon gas. You’ll keep your family safe and feel peace of mind that the air they’re breathing is clean and healthy.