Radon gas is an element that is produced through the breakdown of radioactive metals found in nature. Examples of these metals are uranium, thorium, and radium which are naturally occurring in soils and rocks. If you’re not aware of the dangers of this gas, you might be putting yourself, and your family, at risk to be exposed to radon gas. Prolonged exposure poses severe health risks.
Here are some dangers of radon gas and the things you can do to reduce exposure:
Can Cause Cancer
Radon is an inert gas that comes in the air and people tend to breathe small amounts of it without knowing it. Measuring radon is an excellent approach to determine if a population is at risk. However, small amounts won’t automatically put you at risk of lung cancer.
Since this element goes into the air, the lungs are the primary organ that’s affected. If there’s high levels of radon in the air, then it’s most likely harmful and can speed up the development of lung cancer. However, it will usually take a few years and long exposure before a person would acquire the disease.
It’s also important to note that the general population will not have the same risk of developing lung cancer from the exposure to radon gas. It’s most likely that those who frequently stay indoors, such as their homes, school, etc. are more exposed to high amounts of radon in the air. This is because the gas can enter through cracks and holes, and these buildings will tend to keep the air confined in the space.
There are other studies conducted about exposure to radon gas and other health risks it has. However, none of these studies were conclusive and therefore, proven that lung cancer is the major health risk associated with radon gas.
However, a study claimed that there’s a positive association with indoor radon gas exposure and leukemia although the principal investigator of the study consider the results to be inconclusive since there’s a lot of other factors yet to be found.
Now that you’re aware that radon gas can cause lung cancer, here are some ways on how you can reduce your exposure to it:
1) Buy a radon test kit
One way to reduce exposure is to become aware of the radon concentration in your home. Buying a radon test kit is recommended to lower the exposure to high levels of radon that can put you and your family at risk.
As a rule of thumb, the level of radon gas indoors should at least be equal to the outdoor scale of radon gas, which is 0.4 pCi/L. However, a large portion of homes tested usually exceed the recommended level.
If the radon gas level in your home coincides with the recommended average level, then you don’t need to worry. However, if it’s at an unacceptable level, you need to be following measures to keep the level down to an acceptable level.
2) Repair cracks and holes in your home
As mentioned earlier, radon gas can enter your home through holes and cracks on the floor, walls, and pipes. Make sure to address this problem by sealing them to prevent entry points in your home.
You can invest in home renovation to ensure that there’ll be no cracks or holes for an extended period. If the floor of your home or basement is on ground level, you might want to switch to tiles or a material similar to add another layer of protection from the ground.
3) Install a radon mitigation system
If your home is tested to have high levels of radon, you might need to install a radon mitigation system. It works by incorporating it together with the sump crock in your home. Since this system has a connection to the underground level of your home, this is where the radon mitigation system is usually installed.
4) Increase ventilation in your basement
One effective way to reduce the level of radon gas in your home is by providing better ventilation to the basement or areas with high indoor radon. The idea is to diffuse the indoor air to outside air.
A higher concentration of this radon gas poses a health risk of getting lung cancer in the long run. Exposure to radon gas is inevitable, but there are ways to reduce the level of indoor radon gas. Some ways to reduce the level of indoor radon is to repair cracks and holes and install radon mitigation and ventilation systems. Are you worried about Radon?