With the many things that can cause us harm in daily life, probably on the "least worried" end of the list is radon.
However, radon is a very important concern and should be taken very seriously. No level of radon exposure is entirely safe, and it's crucial to understand its impact on our body so we can implement solutions for our safety.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a naturally-occurring chemical element that comes from the radioactive decay of "radium," which is found in rocks and soil.
There are four words to describe it as a noble gas, which are:
In that regard, Radon is a chemical element that is undetectable by human senses. Despite this, it is a radioactive gas that is popular for causing lung cancer, and breathing it over time can increase your risk of lung cancer. In fact, it is the second
leading cause of this type of cancer in the United States.
Radon is in the atmosphere naturally in trace amounts, and outdoors, it disperses rapidly. Usually, it isn't a health issue, with most exposures occurring in homes, schools, and workplaces. This is because it becomes trapped indoors after it enters.
Fortunately, radon that is located indoors can be controlled with cost-effective methods.
There are steps you can take to reduce the amount of radon in your home or indoor area. The only way to determine the specific levels of radon is through testing, which can be performed by a professional or with a DIY home test kit.
It's important to contact a certified radon service professional if the radon levels are high in your home. The guidelines suggested by EPA are if the levels exceed 148 Bq/m3 (4 pCi/L), then you should mitigate the levels.
The most typical ways to fix radon problems or reduce your risk of lung cancer from radon are:
- Through an underground ventilation system
- Increasing the rate of air changes and increasing airflow (opening windows, for example)
- Sealing and caulking all cracks in the walls/foundation
- Quitting smoking
- Setting up radon-resistant construction techniques when buying a new home
- Reducing the amount of wood, coal or other substances that you burn
Implementing these methods can potentially save you and other members in the area from developing lung cancer.
Radon might not be the most obvious health risk in the world, but it's certainly one to pay attention to, especially as we all breathe it in every day.