Can Radon Gas In Homes Be Dangerous?
Radon gas in homes is a dangerous source of carcinogens. In fact, radon poisoning is one of the leading causes of lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoking. Radon is a radioactive gas that is created by the degradation of uranium, a radioactive element that is present everywhere on earth.
It is a very dense gas as well as one of the noble or inert gases, which means it does not react with other gases or change form; once it is present, it simply exists, accumulating as more is added unless something is done to remove it.
Inhaling radon can potentially kill you, and for smokers there is an even greater risk. Statistics show that a non-smoker who is exposed to radon has a one in twenty chance of developing lung cancer compared to a one in three chance for a smoker. By comparison, a smoker with no radon exposure whatsoever has a one in eight chance of developing
The air that we breathe contains radon, but it is well diluted by other gases so the levels are not high enough to cause harm. It is when inadequate ventilation prevents radon from escaping that it becomes a serious health concern. Radon gas in homes can reach dangerous levels, often accumulating in basements as it silently seeps through porous concrete and cracks in the foundation.
Anywhere that the foundation comes in contact with soil is a potential radon leak, so measures must be taken to prevent the gas from entering the home. Modern building codes require a vapor barrier to be placed around the foundation, but in older homes the vapor barrier may leak or not be present at all. Concrete is porous and prone to cracking, allowing many opportunities for radon gas to seep into the house. Many basements have little ventilation and few windows, so once the gas enters it becomes trapped.
Because radon has no color, odor or taste, there is no way of knowing how much of it is in the air you are breathing without using a radon test kit. Keeping your home, especially attics and basements well ventilated is an important step toward preventing dangerous radon build-up.
Seal cracks in basement walls and floors and paint raw concrete with a sealing paint that is capable of creating a barrier against radon gas. In older homes with dirt floors in the basement,
or crawl space, renovations are a wise choice.
Replace dirt floors and cracked concrete floors with properly sealed concrete. Walls made from bricks and cinder blocks are particularly vulnerable to radon leakage, and steps should be taken to seal bricks and mortar or replace the walls with sealed concrete.
Testing for radon gas in homes is relatively inexpensive, and could potentially save your life. There are several devices available that use different methods to test for radon gas in homes. Because radon levels fluctuate, and levels differ from
one area to another
, it’s best to use a testing method that measures radon levels over a period of three months to provide an accurate picture of the average amount of radon present in your home.
To read more about related topics, please follow these links:
What Is Radon Poisoning?
How To Conduct Radon Testing In Homes?
What Are The Common Radon Mitigation Supplies?
What Are The Different Types Of Radon Gas Detector?
Why Do People Buy Home Radon Test Kits?
Why Might A Digital Radon Gas Detector Be The Choice For You?