What is Radon Gas?
Learn more about radon gas:
Radon gas is a dangerous gas that comes naturally from the soil. When Uranium deposits in the ground decay, radon gas is eventually produced. It rises through the soil and can enter homes via the foundation. When radon is present it is unnoticeable due to the fact that it is invisible and odorless. You could be breathing high concentrations of radon gas and not even know it. The only way to know if radon gas is present is to test for it.
What are the health effects of radon gas exposure?
- Radon causes lung cancer. It is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
- It greatly increases the chances of getting lung cancer in people who already smoke.
- It is radioactive and a class A carcinogen. As radon decays it releases alpha radiation, which damages lung tissue.
- Radon eventually becomes lead. Some suspect that radon can cause brain issues such as Alzheimer’s.
What proof is there that radon is a danger?
- The United States EPA has a great page about radon risk http://www.epa.gov/radon/health-risk-radon.
- The World Health Organization says that radon levels should be reduced if they are greater than 2.7 pci/L
- The CDC has radon information about your health and lung disease.
- The National Radon Action Plan
- American Lung Association has more radon information
How does radon gas enter homes?
- Radon can seep in from the soil below the foundations.
- Cracks and the pours in concrete are pathways for radon to get in.
- Sump basins not only collect ground water, but also can collect it from the ground.
- Crawlspaces can be a simple pathway for it to enter into the living areas of homes.
- Homes tend to have a natural suction that pulls radon in.
- When the soil is frozen or saturated, it can increase the amount that enters homes.
- In some situations, radon can emanate from rock like granite countertops and mantles.