New homeowners are usually aware of normal household dangers, like the risk of fire, floods, and hazardous materials. However, many are not aware of hidden dangers like radon that can be every bit as dangerous as it is elusive.
What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It is created as the result of the decay of uranium naturally found in rock, soil, and water. Small amounts of uranium are present throughout the Earth’s crust. Once radon gas forms, it can move up through the ground into the air.
Although radon breaks down more quickly than many other radioactive substances, as it decays it can produce radioactive particles that attach themselves to particles such as dust. These particles can then be inhaled, posing a health hazard.
Health Effects of Radon Exposure
Many people are surprised to learn that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Only smoking results in more lung cancer cases. You do not have to smoke to develop lung cancer from radon gas exposure. However, if you do smoke and are also exposed to radon, your risk of developing lung cancer is particularly high.
Companies like SWAT Environmental have developed highly effective methods for reducing radon levels. These techniques have become so sophisticated that virtually any home can be repaired.
A number of methods may be used to reduce a home’s radons levels. Some techniques are designed to keep radon from entering the home initially, while others minimize radon levels when radon is already present.
The type of radon migatation required depends upon the unique circumstances of each individual case. Often basic systems involving underground pipes and a fan can reduce radon levels. This type of system would not involve major changes in your home. It removes radon beneath the foundation and floors before it has a chance to enter your home.
Sealing cracks and openings in the walls and floors is a normal type of radon reduction. Sealing restricts the amount of radon entering your home and increases the efficiency of other techniques.
If you suspect radon in your home, remember that the gas is undetectable without professional help. Make an appointment with a qualified contractor to have your home tested. If radon is found, you can then take steps to mitigate the problem to ensure the health of you and your family.