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The Problem's With Radon Gas


The Invisible Menace

You can't see radon. And you can't smell or taste it, but it may very well be a problem in your home. It is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, and when you breathe air containing the gas, you can get lung cancer. 

Can it cause cancer?

In fact, radon has now been declared the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

Is it in your home

Radon can be found all over the United states. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets in to the air you breathe. Radon can get into any type of building, homes, offices, and schools and build up to high levels. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure in your home because that is where you spend most of your time.

Testing for Radon

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk form radon. The Environmental Protection Agency along with the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. It is inexpensive and easy to do the testing and it only takes a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already had their homes tested. 

Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems although it can also enter the home through well water. And in a small number of homes, certain kinds of building materials may give off the gas, too. However, the building materials rarely cause the problem by themselves.

One in fifteen

It have now been determined that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in every state including homes in your state.

The public has only recently started showing interest in this deadly, cancer-causing gas. If you live in the USA then contact your state radon office for general information about radon in your area.

Have it checked out 

While radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may have a problem. Homebuyers and renters are now asking about radon levels before they buy or rent a home.

Is it in the water

While radon in water is not a problem in homes served by most public water supplies, it has been found in some well water. If you've tested the air in your home and found a radon problem, and your water comes from a well, contact a lab certified to measure radiation in water to have your water tested. 

If you're on a public water supply and are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the water, call your public water works.

How can we reduce the levels

Since there is no known safe level of radon, there can always be some risk. But the risk can be reduced by lowering the radon level in your home. A variety of methods may be used to reduce radon in one's home. In some cases, sealing cracks in floors and walls may help to reduce radon. In other cases, simple systems using pipes and fans may be used to reduce the gas. 

Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any home, always test again after you have any work done. There are reliable test kits available through the mail, in hardware stores and certain other retail outlets.

What do we know about it

Like other environmental pollutants, there is some uncertainty about the magnitude of radon health risks. However, more is known about the risks of radon than from most other cancer-causing substances. This is because estimates of radon risks are based on studies of cancer in humans such as underground miners.

For your convenience, we have prepared  a list of search terms used in order of popularity, to find more pages on this subject:

Searches completed in December 2004 
Count Search Term 
3493 radon gas 
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100 gas poisoning radon 
96 gas radon testing 
90 201 detector gas radon safety siren sm tt 
88 radon gas symptom 
84 effects gas radon 
78 gas radon test 
70 gas protection radon 
69 gas invisible radon 
58 gas kit radon test 
51 gas radon removal 
32 gas home in radon 
25 danger gas radon

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© Anthony George 2005