No one wants radon gas in their home. According to the American Lung Association, the presence of radon gas in the home is the highest preventable cause of lung cancer behind smoking cigarettes. This sinister indoor air pollutant cannot be detected by our senses alone, either; radon is a colorless and odorless gas.
Radon gas is formed by the decay of one of three radioactive isotopes: radium, thorium, or uranium. These elements occur naturally throughout the earth’s surface in the soil and in groundwater. Over time, the gas rises through the layers of soil and can eventually make it to the foundation of a house.
Once radon has made it to the foundation, all it takes is a few small cracks for the gas to make its way into the home itself, dispersing throughout the air that you breathe. Breathing elevated levels of radon puts you at risk for cancer and other health complications.
This is why radon testing companies are essential. If you Have been putting off hiring a residential radon testing service because you don’t believe your home is at risk, think again. Dangerous indoor levels of radon may be more common than you think.
How common is radon?
According to the EPA, approximately one in every 15 homes has radon levels that would be categorized as elevated. This means that more than 5% of all homes have levels of radon that could pose a serious health risk over time. The good news is that these dangers are easily avoidable.
How can you tell if your home has dangerous radon levels?
As mentioned previously, radon has no color and no scent. If the radioactive gas is in your home, there is only one way for you to find out: via radon testing. Even if your home has been tested in the past, it is possible for soil and home foundation conditions to change over time. For this reason, regular testing is advised. The EPA recommends conducting a test once every two years.
Harm from radon is preventable. It is estimated that if homes with elevated radon were tested and had their levels reduced, annual lung cancer deaths would decrease by 5,000. Radon is a very common problem present in many homes, so make sure to test your air regularly.