Radon is a large concern for homeowners. The decision to test a property for radon gas is quite common. If radon seepage causes the gas to enter through the basement or crawl space, it can endanger residents if the property is not well ventilated.
Radon comes from the element radium. It is created when radium decays. The process of making radon from radium is natural and continuous. Unfortunately, radon can rise through soil and enter the air. Breathing radon gas can endanger people. Learn more about the harmful potential effects of radon on human health.
Radon Gas and Lung Disease
Radon gas exposure can contribute to the development of cancer. Inhaling radon gas over a period of time is like smoking multiple cartons of cigarettes. Radon gas can cause damage to the lungs. Someone who has been exposed to radon may have bronchitis, lung infections, pneumonia, or wheezing. Since many diseases share these symptoms, it is important to rule out radon gas as a potential contributor.
The length of exposure to radon gas is a significant contributor to disease. The American Journal of Epidemiology (2000) reported that radon exposure at 4 pCi/L levels over 15 years placed people at high risk for the development of certain cancers. Residential radon exposure is a serious threat that can lead to lung cancer and lung disease.
Potential for Radon Gas
Some parts of the United States have a high incidence of radon. Radon is frequently found in drinking water at higher than acceptable levels in: New England (all states), Alabama (especially northern), Arizona (especially southern), California, Colorado (especially central), Florida (especially Tampa vicinity), Georgia (especially northern), Iowa, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri (especially southern), North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey (especially northern), New Mexico, Nevada, New York (ex-New York City/Long Island), Oregon (especially Portland and Salem), Pennsylvania (especially eastern), South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas (especially Austin and Amarillo), Utah, Virginia, Washington (especially northeast), Wisconsin, West Virginia (especially eastern), and Wyoming (especially eastern).
Radon testing is a relatively simple matter. A radon gas detector kit is used to measure the presence of radon for up to seven days. The kit is analyzed by a laboratory to inform the residents about the presence of radon gas.
Getting rid of high radon levels is possible. Some radon experts use a process called radon mitigation to reduce high levels of radon in a residential or commercial location.