Although radon is a naturally occurring gas, the link between long-term exposure to radon and lung cancer is evident. Inspecting and testing your home for the presence of radon should be a priority.
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released during the breakdown of uranium in the earth’s soil. This gas can enter homes through any gap, such as a crack in the foundation or utility openings in the basement wall.
The Link Between Radon and Lung Cancer
Radon and lung cancer are directly linked. The longer the exposure, the higher the risk. When a person is exposed to radon, they inhale radioactive particles which damage the lining of their lungs. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Those who smoke are especially at risk of developing health issues.
If you or a family member smokes, create an area outdoors for smoking to reduce the amount of second-hand smoke your family is exposed to. If your home is found to have high radon levels, talk to your doctor about what steps you can take.
Testing for Radon in the Home
To learn about the presence of radon, have a test conducted. There are DIY test kits available. However, hiring a professional with experience administering and interpreting the test results is best.
Tests are available that gather short-term or long-term readings. Professionals often recommend the long-term test as radon levels may fluctuate over time. Long-term tests provide more accurate results.
Your radon professional will conduct the test in the lowest area of the home. Most often, this is in the basement or on the first floor.
What is Considered a High Reading?
Radon levels of 4 pCi/L or higher are considered too high, and you should take appropriate action to lower the radon in the home.
What Should I do about High Levels of Radon in the Home?
Learning your home has a high radon reading means protecting occupants from exposure is necessary. When testing shows your home has concerning levels of radon gas, contact a mitigation professional. They will design a system to reduce levels to a safer concentration.