Testing your home for radon is not something to put off as it can be harmful to your health. It is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that may leak into dwellings due to naturally decaying uranium in soil, rock, and water. And according to the EPA, it causes roughly 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year and is the second-highest cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon kills more people in the United States than drunk driving, murders, or Parkinson’s disease.
What Exactly is Radon Gas?
Radon has no color, order, or taste. This dangerous gas is produced by decomposing uranium, radium, or thorium in soil or rocks. As the gas rises through the earth, it most commonly enters a home through gaps in the foundation, walls, or structural joints.
Where Does Radon Gas Originate?
Radon is produced naturally when uranium in the soil degrades and produces radium. When confined indoors, it may be detected in the air. As a gas in the house, it can be harmful to one’s health. When the gas is breathed, it includes radioactive byproducts that can cause lung cancer.
Where Can You Find Radon?
Outdoors, modest amounts of radon are typical. Consequently, many people are only exposed to trace amounts of radon. However, when it becomes confined indoors, the levels can become hazardous to a person’s health.
What Is the Danger of Radon Gas?
Radon kills thousands of people each year and is the number two cause of lung cancer. According to the American Lung Association, around 2,900 of the 21,000 persons who die each year from radon-related lung cancer never smoked.
When you breathe in this gas, radioactive particles become lodged in your lungs, causing cancer-causing radiation to harm your cells. It may take years, but tiny particles raise your chance of developing lung cancer.
Can Radon Cause Cancer?
People who are smokers and are exposed to radon have a higher chance of acquiring lung cancer. According to the CDC, the following criteria will determine if you are at elevated risk of radon-induced cancer. The more of these variables you have, the more likely you will get lung cancer due to exposure.
- The level of gas found in your residence
- The more radon there is in the air, the more harm it can cause
- Any level that is four picocuries per liter or above is considered high and is harmful
- The rooms you spend the most time at home and their proximity to the rooms where levels are highest
- The amount of time at your home
- If you smoke or have previously smoked
- If you burn coal, wood, or other materials indoors
How to Protect Your Home from Radon Gas
This gas cannot be seen or smelled; testing is the only way to identify it. Approximately 6% of all households have elevated levels of radon. Therefore, testing is necessary to protect your health and house. As a result, you’ll be able to take action, such as utilizing an air purifier and high-quality filters. Radon decay products range in size from 0.5 to 3 nm. Filti filters can remove up to 95% of hazardous particles as small as 0.3 microns which helps to provide better indoor air quality.
How Do You Perform Radon Testing?
Regardless of your location, all houses should be tested. However, if it has been two or more years since your last test, or if you’ve done any renovation since your last test, go to your local home center and get a certified radon test. You can find monitors for both short-term and long-term monitoring, and they are simple to use.
How to Mitigate High Levels of Radon
If you notice excessive radon gas levels exceeding four picocuries per liter of air, contact your state’s EPA office immediately for a list of approved remediation contractors near you. While some mitigation solutions are straightforward, others are not. Most solutions should be handled by a professional.
Based on the location of your house and the type of foundation you have, a specialist can recommend the best type of radon control system for your home. Additionally, they can provide advice on keeping your home safe, such as checking for foundation cracks and sealing them.
Make sure you test your house after any maintenance work is complete, and regularly test to verify your radon mitigation system is operating correctly.
How to Avoid Radon
If you’re building a house, incorporating a passive control system can save you a lot of trouble—and money—in the long run. Here’s how it works:
If your property does not have a crawlspace, it is vital to have a layer of gas-permeable aggregate, such as gravel, under the flooring system or slab. This layer should be covered with plastic protective sheeting to prevent the gas from passing through and entering your home.
- All foundation and wall cracks should be sealed and caulked. This will help prevent radon from entering your house, but it will also improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Run a three- to four-inch gas-tight pipe from the first stratum or crawlspace to the roof. This will securely exhaust soil gases to the outdoors.
- Install an additional circuit in the attic so that a vent fan, which turns the pipe into a vacuum, or a radon control system, which guides the gas out of your home, can be installed.
Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
Air quality is a critical component in your health and well-being, especially in your home or office, since you spend a significant portion of your time there. And while the decay product of radon ranges in size from 0.5 to 3 nm, making many air purifiers and HVAC filters incapable of filtering the particles, a high-quality filter like the Filti 9500 can remove up to 95% of hazardous particles as small as 0.3 microns. Filti filtration products are manufactured to help you breathe in clean, healthy air and enjoy a more comfortable home or work environment. Contact Filti if you want to learn more about improving the air quality in your home or business.