Did you know that January is the Radon Awareness Month? Among all the noise that the pandemic is spreading around the world in 2021, it is easy to forget the other dangers lurking around. One of them has been around for much longer than Covid. You cannot eliminate it completely. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that we cannot detect, and so many people aren’t even aware of it even though it can have deadly consequences.
This is why programs and events such as the radon awareness month are so important. Radon Awareness Month helps build awareness. You can get your homes tested to mitigate elevated radon levels. It is especially important in recent years owing to how many people are working from home and are spending time indoors.
What is radon and why is it dangerous?
Radon forms when radioactive metals like Radium disintegrate underground. This releases the gas. It seeps out of the ground and into the atmosphere, even finding its way into homes through the cracks in the building’s foundation. Outdoors, the gas is not deadly as it is not able to accumulate in one area. However, this is a definite possibility indoors and can lead to fatalities in the long term.
Radon gas does not kill immediately. You need to be exposed to the gas over many years – typically 5 years. This eventually leads to lung cancer development. This can happen to anyone both young and old, and can even affect the pets you have at home. Experts say that over 1 in 15 homes in the US has elevated radon levels. So, if you haven’t tested your home yet, this is your call to go do so now using a trusted and reliable radon mitigation company.
Radon’s effect in the US in 2021
Radon levels around the country are not standardized. There are various elements that affect radon levels, so different areas of the country have high levels of radon compared to others. This is a map of the radon levels in the country updated last in 2019.
You should note that this map is not definitive. Even if you live in an area with low radon levels, you should still test your home for radon as each house could have varying levels of radon. For example, your property may have old radioactive metals buried underground. These are likely releasing radon gas that is in closer proximity to your home compared to your neighbors.
There are no safe levels of radon. However, the world health organizations have determined that any radon level above 4 pCi/L is unsafe for human habitation. If these levels are found, radon mitigation measures should be incorporated immediately. In 2021, over 30 states in the US have radon levels of over 4 pCi/L. Some of the highest are:
- Alaska – 10.7
- South Dakota – 9.6
- Pennsylvania – 8.6
- Ohio – 7.8
- Washington – 7.5
On the other hand, there are also states where radon levels are almost negligent. For example, Hawaii has an average of 0 pCi/L. This is because the uranium content found inside rocks in Hawaii is low. As such, you probably wouldn’t need to worry about Radon as much in this state compared to others. Other states with low radon levels include Florida, Arizona, and Mississippi.
2 things you can do during radon awareness month
In the US, the EPA has designated January to be the radon awareness month. Over 20,000 Americans die every year due to radon-related lung cancer. And you can prevent all these with some education and awareness.
Simply knowing about the radon awareness month is not enough. Taking appropriate action is the only way to ensure your safety as well as your neighbors and loved ones. Therefore, here are 2 things you can do at the start of every year:
Get your home tested
The radon awareness month is a good yearly reminder to get your home tested. It is very easy to forget or keep putting off a servicing or testing. Having this month hang over your head will force you to get it done.
Spread the word and educate
Mitigating radon is not difficult. You can do it easily and we can all live safely inside our homes. The radon awareness month can help ensure that everyone in that locality has the best chance of avoiding radon-induced illnesses.
Many people aren’t aware of the dangers of radon gas. Some people have never even heard the word before. Therefore, if you know about it, then you’ll be doing your locality and your neighbors a service by informing them about radon. You never know, a few minutes of your time could end up saving somebody else’s life in the future.