What Makes Radon Dangerous in Your Home?

July 31, 2020 1:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

What is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally exists in the atmosphere in trace amounts. It is colorless and odorless, and when outdoors, it disperses and is not dangerous to humans and animals. We don’t even notice it’s there. However, indoors is a completely different story, and radon can have bad health effects. Here is an overview of why radon is dangerous and how to keep it out of your home in Aspen, CO.

The dangers of radon

Radon is the result of natural decomposition. Rocks and soil contain trace amounts of uranium, and when that breaks down, it results in radioactive decay. The gas emanating from that decay is radon, and as mentioned above, it normally floats away and does not threaten us.

However, when radon leaks into buildings, usually through cracks in walls and foundations, that is when it becomes dangerous. It accumulates in homes, schools and workplaces, and people in those buildings breathe it in. That leads to it becoming the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon-related lung cancer kills 21,000 people each year. Only smoking produces higher numbers of lung cancer deaths.

There have been other respiratory issues linked to radon, but the studies are not as conclusive on them as with cancer. Basically, this is a high-risk element that you do not want accumulating in your home.

Controlling radon exposure

The effects of radon exposure are significant, but fortunately it’s easy to control. First, have your home tested for radon. You can hire a professional or purchase a do-it-yourself home radon test kit. The EPA considers radon levels high if your test indicates 148 Bq/m3 (4 PCi/L) or above.

If your test indicates a high level of radon, call in a professional to confirm (if you tested radon levels yourself), and once they confirm the results, start a remediation process. Radon issues may be fixed by improving underground ventilation or increasing airflow throughout your home. Addressing foundation and wall cracks in your home will also help reduce radon to a safer level. Once you experience a radon problem, it’s a good idea to test regularly to make sure your efforts to fix it have been effective.

If you’re buying a new home, it’s a good idea to test for radon at the same time you test for mold or other issues. That way, you can negotiate the costs of the remediation efforts into your contract. The same is true if you’re building your dream home—there are designs that will reduce the amount of radon in your home and ensure it doesn’t exceed a dangerous level.

Now that you know what radon is and why radon is dangerous, arrange to have your home tested as soon as possible. HealthSafe Inspections Inc. in Aspen, CO offers comprehensive radon testing that will become the first step in eradicating radon in your home. Contact us today to arrange for a visit—we look forward to assisting you soon!

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