Radon gas in homes is a major problems in some areas in North America. Radon gas is tasteless, colorless and odorless. It occurs naturally and is produced when uranium is in the process of decaying. It is radioactive and is therefore considered a health hazard for this reason. It is the second largest reason that people develop lung cancer other than from cigarettes.
In fact, there are 21,000 lung cancer related deaths that are caused by radon gas every year in the United States and 2,900 of these people have never smoked. However, it is believed that smoking can increase the exposure a person has to residential radon.
Why test for radon gas in homes
The only way to know if you are being exposed to radon gas in your home is by conducting a test. While there are professionals that can do this for you, there is also a test kit that you can purchase through your state radon contact.
There are also some home improvement centers that sell these radon test kits as well and you will simply need to follow the instructions that have been placed on the packaging in order to determine what the level of radon gas is in your home.
If you find that you are being exposed to a high level of radon gas, you can contact one of the two radon programs that are national and offer access to individuals and businesses that are certified to correct the issue.
Source of radon gas in homes
Since radon gas occurs naturally through the decay of uranium, it is found in nearly every type of soil. Typically, it will move from the ground through the air and enter your home through cracks and holes in your foundation. Once it enters your home it will become trapped and will build up throughout your home.
Below are some of the ways that radon gas can enter through your home:
- Cracks in the floor
- Through joints of the construction pieces
- Through cracks in the walls
- Gaps that occur in floors that are suspended
- Gaps that are found around service pipes
- Cavities inside the walls
- Through the water supply
It is important to realize that any home has the possibility of having a radon issue. Whether you have a new home or an old home or a home that is sealed properly or drafty, there is a possibility that you have a radon gas issue. It also does not matter whether or not you have a basement.
How prevalent is radon gas in homes?
It is estimated that one out of every 15 homes in the United States has the possibility of having an elevated radon level. This has been found in every state and you can learn more about your specific area by contacting your state radon office for more information.
Concentrations of radon gas in homes differ greatly throughout Canada but are usually higher in areas where there is a high concentration of uranium in underlying rock and soil. Radon is found in almost every home, but concentration levels will vary from one home to another, even if they are similar and next door to each other.
Taking care of a radon problem is extremely important because radon gas is radioactive and deadly. If you find that you have a radon gas issue in your home, it is important that you do not delay the process of having the issue fixed as soon as possible. Delaying this process can be detrimental to your health and well-being.