Air pollution is an important issue starting to see more awareness over the years. Contaminants from everyday pesticides, exhaust from cars and excess dust are all contributors to reduced air quality for American adults and children. When reduced air quality is present in your own home, however? The lack of security within your own walls can be startling. This is the unfortunate truth of radon gas exposure, an odorless and colorless chemical that has been found in millions of homes across the country.
What Is Radon Gas?
Before you look into local radon testing, it’s important to know more about the chemical that could be putting you and your family in danger. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that crops up in many American homes, defined by its lack of odor, color or taste. This makes it notoriously difficult to detect without the aid of radon testing companies. When you consider how widespread this gas is, a little awareness goes a very long way.
How Common Is Radon Gas?
Radon gas is more common than previously thought. According to studies provided by the U.S. EPA, nearly one in three homes checked across seven states as well as three Indian lands had screening levels far beyond the recommended level. A family whose home is exposed to radon levels of 4 pCi/l is exposed to nearly 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if, say, said family was near a radioactive waste site.
What Are The Side-Effects Of Radon Gas?
Radon gas is a deadly chemical. Short-term effects of radon exposure include, but are not limited to, headaches, migraines, difficulty breathing and unusual fatigue. Long-term effects are much worse, with multiple studies linking increased rates of lung cancer to people exposed to this chemical for months on end. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, alongside cigarettes and smoggy cities, in the United States as we know it.
How Is Radon Gas Reduced?
Radon testing companies are equipped with multiple methods of measuring, addressing and reducing radon gas. Short-term detectors are able to measure radon levels for a mere few days to well over 90 days, depending on the device, while long-term detectors can go well beyond 90 days for more unreliable operations. Scientists have estimated that lung cancer deaths can be reduced by up to 4% by lowering radon gas. That’s as many as 5,000 lives saved every year. A sump pump installation, radon mitigation and abatement service or simple check-up can do a lot to reverse the trend.
Can I Reduce Radon In My Own Home?
Whether or not your home possesses unsafe levels of radon gas exposure depends on the efforts of your local radon testing companies. The risk of lung cancer has been found to increase 16% or more per 100 Bq/m increase in long-term radon concentration. However, passive systems of mitigation (such as through the use of certified radon fans) have been shown to reduce indoor radon levels by as much as 50%. When one in 15 American homes have radon levels either at or above the EPA action level, it’s up to you to do your part in keeping your family safe.