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
200 radon gas detector
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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