Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into homes and other buildings through cracks and other openings in the foundation. Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it impossible to detect without specialized equipment. Exposure to high levels of radon over a long period of time is known to increase the risk of lung cancer.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths each year. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, accounting for about 16% of all lung cancer deaths. The risk of lung cancer from radon exposure is higher in smokers, as smoking can damage the lungs and make them more susceptible to the effects of radon.
The dangers of radon are not limited to lung cancer. High levels of radon exposure over a long period of time can also cause other health problems, including respiratory issues and damage to the immune system. Children and infants who are exposed to high levels of radon may be at an increased risk of developing childhood leukemia.
The health risks associated with radon exposure have been well-documented by numerous studies and research projects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified radon as a Class A carcinogen, which means that it is known to cause cancer in humans.
Radon levels can vary significantly from one home or building to another, even in the same neighborhood. The only way to know if your home or workplace is at risk for radon exposure is to have it tested. The EPA recommends that all homes and buildings be tested for radon at least once every two years.
Radon testing is relatively simple and inexpensive. There are do-it-yourself testing kits available, or you can hire a professional to test your home or building for you. If high levels of radon are detected, mitigation measures can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure.
Radon mitigation typically involves the installation of a ventilation system that draws radon gas from beneath the foundation and vents it outside. In some cases, sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation may also be necessary. The cost of radon mitigation varies depending on the severity of the problem and the specific mitigation measures that are required.
In summary, the dangers of radon are significant and should not be ignored. Lung cancer caused by radon exposure is preventable through regular testing and mitigation measures. If you are concerned about radon exposure in your home or workplace, contact a professional radon mitigation contractor to schedule a testing and mitigation appointment. By taking action to reduce your exposure to radon, you can protect your health and the health of your loved ones.