By: Annie Morgan
You might think you are keeping your home safe with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, but there is another danger lurking beneath the service, literally.
Radon is an odorless and colorless gas that creeps its way into family homes – with many people not even knowing it exists.
And while some homes are more at risk than others, this cancer-causing radioactive gas is found in every state.
The EPA estimates more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by radon – and radon is said to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
This radioactive material is breathed in and begins to damage the body, but it could take years before symptoms develop.
The American Cancer Society reported:
“Radon breaks down into solid radioactive elements called radon progeny (such as polonium-218, polonium-214, and lead-214). Radon progeny can attach to dust and other particles and can be breathed into the lungs. As radon and radon progeny in the air break down, they give off radiation that can damage the DNA inside the body’s cells.”
How It Enters The Home
Since radon is found in soil and rock – it enters through cracks in floors or walls.
Typically, basements and crawl spaces have the highest levels of radon.
Things, like renovating a basement or doing construction work, can disrupt the soil and could increase the levels of radon in your home.
But even without major construction, naturally occurring events like minor earthquakes or even shifting or changing ground can pour radon into your home.
What To Do
Before moving into a home, have it tested for radon.
Sure, it might cost you an extra $150 bucks – but it’s important to make sure both you and your family are protected.
After moving in, experts recommend testing your home once if not twice a year to make sure radon levels are safe.
Remember, it’s odorless and colorless – so you won’t be able to tell without a professional test whether you have radon in your home.
If a professional determines you have unsafe radon levels in your home, there are remedies you can do such as installing a radon-reduction system or sealing and caulking cracks.
Your Health Matters
If high levels of radon are found in your home, make sure you have regular checkups with a doctor to monitor your lungs.
And remember – it’s worth it to pay to have your home tested for radon – along with other things like mold.
Your home can be a safe place to live, but it could also be filled with things that are killing you.
Don’t roll the dice on this one – get your home checked for radon regularly – especially if you live in a high-risk area.
Were you surprised to learn how deadly radon gas is?
How often do you have your home tested for radon?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know the deadly dangers of radon gas!