Radon is an invisible, odorless gas found naturally in soil and rocks. It enters homes through cracks and other openings in foundations or walls. While it is non-toxic outside a building, radon can pose serious health risks when trapped indoors for a prolonged time. Therefore, understanding exactly what radon does to a person. This article takes an in-depth look at the short and long-term effects that exposure to this colorless gas inside your home or office can have on your overall health.
What is Radon?
Radon is a dangerous and invisible gas found in the air and can be absorbed by the human body when inhaled. It has been identified as a major cause of lung cancer, leading to approximately 21,000 deaths each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Radon accumulates in homes through cracks in the floors or other areas that allow it access from outside.
It is particularly dangerous over long periods of exposure, so continual monitoring of your home’s environment is essential for health and safety. Testing for radon levels in homes should be done frequently, as this gas can have serious long-term health implications if it is not addressed quickly.
- Various Cancers
Radon gas is a known carcinogen, meaning it has the potential to cause cancer when exposed to it. People may be exposed to radon by living and working in structures that contain radon-contaminated air and soil. Radon has been linked to various types of cancer, such as lung, bone, stomach and throat cancer. Prolonged or intense exposure leads to an increased risk for developing these kinds of cancer, particularly if other factors are involved, such as smoking or inadequate ventilation.
- Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory diseases have long been observed as the most serious health effects caused by exposure to high levels of radon gas. This includes an increased risk for lung cancer and other forms of lung diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema.
How to Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Radon Exposure
- Sealing Off Cracks and Crevices
Sealing of cracks and crevices in the home such as windowsills, gaps between walls and ceilings, and other points of entry can help protect you from potentially dangerous levels of exposure. Taking the time to seal off those entry points may take a bit of effort but could have lifesaving effects on everyone living in your household.
- Installing a Vent Fan
Installing a vent fan is an essential step to protecting yourself and your family from the dangers of radon exposure. Vent fans help rid homes of indoor sources of radon, such as methane or other gases produced by common household items like pipes. These fans work both day and night to flush out the air in your home, creating an environment that is as healthy as possible. Installation of a vent fan can be both cost-effective and simple; it is an investment in your safety today, and for years to come.
- Having Your Home or Building Tested for Radon
Having your home or building tested for radon will determine whether it is necessary to take precautionary steps in order to reduce the risk of exposure. With proper education on this dangerous gas and testing, people can keep their living spaces safe and secure. Doing so provides peace of mind that they are not exposing their families to any sort of harm. Testing for radon gives people assurance that their health is not being compromised by something they cannot detect on their own.
Reasons to Hire Experts for Radon Testing
Homeowners should strongly consider having a qualified radon testing professional come to the residence and evaluate for the presence of this health risk. Experts have specialized equipment to detect the gas, along with a wealth of knowledge that can provide homeowners peace of mind knowing their environment is safe and free from a poisonous element. Licensed testers understand how to come up with the best approach and controls for all types of buildings, be it new builds, rentals, commercial spaces or homes. They also understand which techniques would work best in different situations.
It is clear that coming into contact with radon has many negative effects on a person’s health. The most serious issue is that radon gas itself is odorless, tasteless, and invisible to the naked eye. This means that it can easily sneak undetected into the air indoors and stay there for years, increasing your risk of lung cancer or other health problems. Therefore, it is very important to invest in testing and mitigation systems in order to reduce the risk of radon entering your home.