There are a lot of things you have to worry about as a homeowner. One environmental hazard that you may not be as away of is radon gas. The odorless, colorless and tasteless gas is very dangerous to human health and can be found in elevated levels in your home. If you are unsure of your level, you may want to contact any one of the radon testing companies in your area.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas. Uranium can be found in rocks, water and soil all over the planet. As this element decays, it releases radon. The radiation emitted by radon is similar to what is emitted by plutonium.
Exposure to radon gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the office of the Surgeon General have looked into this and found that about 20,000 people die from lung cancer every year in the United States from exposure to radon gas. These deaths cost more than $2 billion every year in health care and other costs, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Radon was first discovered by English physicist Ernest Rutherford in 1899. German physicist Friedrich Ernst Dorn also found the gas and is credited with his discovery of it in 1900. Rutherford is responsible for finding the alpha radiation emitted from radon and Dorn discovered that radon is a gas.
How Prevalent is Radon?
Radon gas can be found all over the world. Radon testing companies have found homes with elevated radon levels in every state in the country. The maximum radon level that is recommended for a home is under 4 pCi/l. which is the EPA action level for exposure to this dangerous gas. Almost one in three homes that were checked by radon testing companies in seven different states and on three different Indian spaces were found to have levels above that. As many as eight million homes may have elevated radon gas levels. Some estimate that as many as one in five homes may be impacted.
How Dangerous Is It Really?
If your home has a radon gas level above 4 pCi/, you and your family are being exposed, on a regular basis, to a level of radiation that is about 35 times higher than what would be accepted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear waste. It can be ingested from water but the danger is most as issue from inhalation of the gas.
When Should Homeowners Test for Radon?
There is no way to know what the radon gas level is without having a radon testing and inspection service come in and check. You cannot see, taste or smell radon gas and there will be no outward symptoms of exposure until it makes you or your family really sick. The good and bad news about exposure to radon gas is that it will take years for any problems to become apparent.
A number of agencies recommend homeowners have their houses tested for radon gas. The American Medical Association, National Safety Council, American Lung Association, U.S. Surgeon General and EPA all recommend people have their homes tested.
How Does It Get Into My Home?
Radon can be found in soil all over the world because uranium is found in soil all over the world. It finds its way into your home through cracks and openings in your foundation. You can prevent some of it from getting in because of cracks in your foundation by checking for them and fixing any that you find. If you have a sump pump in your basement, you should have the sump pump installation company put a lid on the sump pump so that the opening is closed to radon. It can get in that way as well.
Can Anything Be Done?
Yes! Radon abatement service companies can help you reduce the levels of radon in your home. They can get the radon gas down to safe levels in your home.
Radon is a scary and dangerous substance. The good news is that by having radon testing companies get your radon level, you can find where you are and what you need to to to protect yourself and your family.