Scientists have observed the effects of naturally occurring radon gas for a very long time; however, it’s only in the last twenty years that they’ve researched the long-term effects that contact with the gas has on us after prolonged exposure in our homes and offices. The naturally radioactive gas releases from the earth as particles break down in the soil: when the gas is released into the open air, it disperses and is not harmful; but if the gas floods a home through cracks in its foundation, it can collect en masse where the air is stagnant, such as a basement.
When inhaled, the radon sits in the lungs and continues to ionize. Ionization causes massive cell damage to anything it touches. In a state that’s home to a smoking population of less than ten percent, lung cancer is remarkably and horrifyingly the single highest killer of cancer patients in Utah, and researchers are claiming that their patients’ radon-tainted air is likely the culprit. Although at the moment Utah’s legislature has failed to mandate radon testing when buying or selling your home, it’s clear that radon is a deadly threat that you must deal with as quickly as possible to prevent any long-term effects from taking root in you or your family. The good news is, radon mitigation is a fairly simple process.
The Silent Killer
Radon is completely odorless and you couldn’t tell if you were breathing it even at lethal doses. If radon is in your house, the amount you’re breathing can influence whether or not you’ll develop lung cancer, as researchers have made this link clear in study after study. If you want to protect yourself, you’re going to want to get tested.
Elsewhere, like in the state of California, performing radon tests is a mandatory step when buying or selling a home. Thankfully, reputable radon testing companies are leading the charge when it comes to radon awareness and the spread of correct information, which is helping countless homeowners to discover just how important it is to protect themselves and their families against radon. As you set out to test your home, contact a radon professional to help you purchase and explain your kit. Radon tests can be either “passive” or “active,” and there are three subtypes of passive tests, which include charcoal, alpha track, and electret. Charcoal and alpha track tests are available as a DIY radon test kit option, but you’ll need a radon professional to conduct an active test. Consult a radon professional to see which option will best suit you.
Now, You Know: What’s Next?
If you’ve self-tested and have now discovered that your home’s radon levels were putting you and your family at risk, don’t stress: you can mitigate the threat and protect yourselves. The first step is to get some air flowing into the house. Open the windows, let some unaffected air in, and get that radon out. Then, you’ll want to employ a company that will test your home, and determine just where the radon is coming from, so that you can seal up the leaks in the foundation. After that, install a radon alarm system to alert you should the radon ever again rise above a safe and permissible level. Solving the problem of radon gas in the home is relatively easy. Contact us with any questions today.