Many people are not aware of the dangers surrounding radon gas. Sure, some would have heard about a ‘radon inspection’ or a ‘radon inspector’ when moving into a new home. However, if that was handled by the property owner, they are likely to not take precautions moving forward.
The problem with radon is that it is present everywhere but is not noticeable until you actively start looking for it. It is a gas that builds up over time inside enclosed spaces and the longer it is active, the more dangerous it can become. Therefore, it is advisable that you hire a professional radon inspector who knows what to look for once every year to ensure that you are safe.
If you still don’t know much about radon, let’s explore a little further on why it can be dangerous.
What exactly is radon gas?
Radon is a naturally occurring phenomenon which is why it is impossible to stay away from it no matter where in the world you are. It is formed when natural radioactive metals such as thorium break down among the rocks and soil in the ground. After this process, a gas is released that slowly seeps its way out of the ground and into the atmosphere.
Radon that you find outdoors is usually not dangerous. This is because it’s mixed with other gases and it cannot collect in one place and concentrate, which is when it becomes dangerous. As such, even though you are breathing in trace amounts of the gas all the time, it will not cause harm to your health.
What makes it dangerous?
Houses and buildings, on the other hand, can be a health hazard especially if the property has been standing for a long time with no radon inspection. Since the radon gas escapes from the ground, it can enter homes through small cracks and holes around its foundation. Gas slowly starts to build up in certain areas around the house where there isn’t much ventilation. If it gets into the HVAC of a home, it will spread much faster and wider inside the house.
Radon gas does not kill immediately and it can take several years. But, the more the gas is allowed to concentrate, the higher the chance of death. This is true for people of all ages, even children.
That is why allowing the gas to build up and reach high levels is never safe. You need to be acutely aware of its degrading conditions to take steps against mitigating it.
How can radon gas kill you?
Radon gas is a result of a radioactive material disintegrating so it still has properties of radiation. Small amounts are not enough to cause any harm to the body, but constant and ever-increasing exposure to it is the more obvious danger.
Every time you inhale radon gas, you are breathing in trace amounts of radiation that come from the radon particles. These particles tend to settle on the lining of your lung and can attach themselves there for a time. Over time, these cells will continue to cause damage to the lung lining, thus increasing the risk of developing lung cancer.
Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of lung-related deaths in the US, and radon accounts for around 21,000 preventable deaths each year. If you have never smoked or you quit, your chances of surviving are decent, but if you are a smoker or live with one, your chances are quite bleak.
Steps to Hiring a Radon Inspector
If you have lived in your home for longer than 2 years and haven’t gotten it tested, then you have two options:
1. You can purchase your own radon testing kit from your local store and attempt it yourself. If it is your first time, you will need to do some research so you know what exactly to look for.
2. Or you could hire a professional company. They will send an experienced radon inspector to check your home. They can also recommend if you need to take measures to reduce radon gas or not.
Hiring a radon inspector is a better alternative. For one, they have been doing the job for a while and know how to measure accurately. Additionally, having higher levels of radon in your home over a longer term isn’t a good idea. You need to be sure that you can tackle the elevated radon level issue. This is something a radon inspector can help with.
There are multiple techniques that can be used to remove radon, even from a house that is congested with it. The safer route would be to hire a professional as that can definitely ease your mind about the health and safety of your family.
Regular radon testing and radon mitigation by professional radon inspectors are needed especially in areas with a high concentration of uranium, thorium, and radium. At Atlantic Radon, we provide quality radon testing and radon mitigation services. Keep your family safe from Radon. You can scheduling radon testing or get in touch with us by filling out our contact form to learn more about our services.