Because radon is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, there is much mystery around it. Some look at radon as if it's a ghost in the room, an invisible nothing that they have to see to believe. So how do we know it even exists? We know because of science!
HISTORY OF RADON: Radon was discovered by Friedrich Ernst Dorn in 1900. Dorn was studying the decay of radium, which is a decay product of uranium. He noticed that the radium was emanating radioactive gas which was radon gas. Since its discovery, radon has been a topic of many studies. Some of the first were of lung cancer occurrences among miners in Germany and the United States throughout the early and middle nineteen hundreds.
RADON IS REAL- It is an element in the periodic table. Its atomic number is 86 and weight 222. Its health effects are widely documented through various EPA and University studies. One famous instance in the history of radon is when an employee of the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania set off the radiation detectors when he entered the building! The power plant operators thought the detectors had failed but discovered no problem with them. Later they discovered that the worker had been bringing radiation to work with him, in his clothing! The radon gas levels were so high in his home that he was bringing it to work with him. Several government agencies jumped in to investigate. They found that his home tested at 2,700 picocuries per liter of radon gas! To put that into perspective, the US EPA has established the number 4 pci/L as the level to take action to reduce. This workers home was 675 times the action level set by the EPA. More on this story available at citizensvoice.com While a home with radon levels testing in the 2000's is very uncommon, many homes across the United States have elevated radon levels. No area is free of radon gas. Some regions tend to have higher levels than others. Radon is a real threat to homes and lungs across the country.
WHAT IS THE REAL THREAT OF RADON GAS EXPOSURE? Radon gas causes lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers. If you have never smoked and you're exposing yourself to 4 pci/L of radon gas, your risk of developing lung cancer is as great as dying in a car accident (according to the EPA radon health risk charts.) But remember, radon is only a risk if you are exposed to it. You can know if you are at risk by testing for radon in your home and areas where you spend time like your office or school.
HOW DO I DETECT RADON GAS? Radon can be measured using do-it-yourself radon test kits or professional radon testing equipment. DIY radon test kits are an inexpensive way for homeowners to check radon levels in homes. If these tests are placed correctly, they are an accurate radon measurement for the time period they are exposed.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO REDUCE RADON? Radon mitigation techniques can permanently reduce radon gas levels in homes and buildings. Usually this is done by installing a radon mitigation system that ventilates the soil under your home. Radon mitigation systems are cost effective and proven to keep radon levels down.
CONCLUSION - Radon gas is real, it is a threat to your health and it can be fixed. Don't fear radon gas like its a ghost in the room. It is truly dangerous but it can be prevented. Go buy a radon test kit. They are simple to use, inexpensive and accurate.