Imagine there are thousands of bees living right below your home. A few find their way through the cracks in your foundation. The odds are still in your favor that you won’t get stung. But the longer you’re in the same space with them, the more likely you’ll get stung. Remember, more are coming in every day.
Now imagine those bees are invisible and don’t make any noise. You can’t simply ignore them. Does that make you nervous? It should.
With radon, it is not the same as a random sting. You’re up against lung cancer and death. And while there is always a chance you won’t have any health issues, what about your family, your pets, and your guests? A little radon can cause big problems.
Radon kills thousands of people every year. The ominous aspect of radon is that you might not even realize you’ve been breathing unhealthy amounts of radon until it is too late. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Professional radon testing is the only way to determine how much radon is inside your home or business building.
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive and noble gas that forms naturally when uranium and thorium – which are radioactive metals – break down in rocks, soil, and groundwater. It can pass through practically any substance known to man. After it enters your home, radon collects and accumulates.
Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. Outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and normally, does not cause health problems. You’ll find that the vast majority of radon exposure is inside homes, workplaces, and schools.
The danger comes when radon gas becomes trapped indoors after it circulates into buildings through cracks and other holes in a foundation. People can be exposed to radon mainly by inhaling it. When you breathe it into your body, radioactive particles from radon gas can become lodged in your lungs. They remain there permanently, emitting radioactivity to the surrounding tissue. This is when radon could pose a grave risk to your health.
Radon is Dangerous to Your Health (And Here’s Why)
After cigarette smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you smoke and are exposed to radon, you are 35 times more likely to develop lung cancer than your non-smoking counterparts.
Among the symptoms you’ll experience that could be linked to radon exposure are the following:
- Persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Losing weight without trying
You won’t likely have any symptoms or radon poisoning immediately after exposure. Health issues, like lung cancer, typically develop over many years.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is advised that you call your doctor right away. You may want to ask your doctor if they recommend you undergo tests to check for signs of lung cancer.
With the exception of “possibly leukemia, lung cancer is the only malignancy associated with radon exposure,” according to Dr. Alan Mensch, pulmonologist and senior vice president of medical affairs, Plainview and Syosset Hospitals, Long Island, NY.
“It is estimated that radon gas inhalation is responsible for 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year,” Dr. Mensch said.
When radon enters your body, your lungs are exposed to small amounts of radiation. Medical experts say it doesn’t pose a health threat in small amounts. If someone is consistently being exposed to radon, and in larger quantities, radon can potentially damage the cells in the lining of the lungs. This increases a person’s odds of developing lung cancer.
Looking for a radon remediator you can trust? Contact 3Rs Construction & Remodeling in Salem, Oregon is here to help! Contact us for a FREE quote!
How Prevalent is Radon in the U.S.?
The EPA reports that one in every 15 homes in the country is estimated to have elevated radon levels.
Putting things into perspective, there is “NO” safe level of radon exposure. Many public health organizations worldwide recommend taking action and installing mitigation equipment if your average radon level is above 2.7 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The EPA is less conservative; they recommended taking action to install mitigation equipment if your indoor radon level is at or above 4.0 pCi/L, which is 10 times greater than the 0.4 pCi/L average outside levels of radon in Oregon.
Factors that Could Affect Radon Levels in Your Home
- Heating and cooling your home
- Changes to your air conditioning, heating, or other ventilation systems
- Opening and closing doors and windows
- Erosion of the soil around your home or neighborhood
- Movement in the sub-surface water table
Testing for Radon Levels
Whether it’s your home or business, annual testing for radon is recommended.
There are three options when it comes to testing for radon.
They are the following:
DIY Test Kits – The results are generally accurate. However, there is the risk of improper placement and sample selection.
Home Inspector – An inspector will typically test for radon during the home purchase or sale in Oregon. They tend to make this part of their routine. Nonetheless, when you buy a home, make sure to test for radon levels.
Hire a Certified Radon Measurement Expert – This professional test will give you the most accurate and reliable results.
Trust 3Rs Construction to Take Your Radon Testing and Mitigation Seriously
3R’s Construction & Remodeling in Salem, Oregon is here to provide professional radon removal, testing, abatement, and mitigation services in your home or business, restoring your personal air quality to a safe level.
When it comes to radon testing and mitigation, 3Rs, consistently provides our clients with:
- Prompt response
- Quick turnaround of test results
- Competitive rates
- Accurate reporting, explaining the radon testing, findings, and recommendations.