Everything You Need to Know About Radon
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring noble gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. It is formed when radioactive metals, such as uranium, thorium, or radium break down into groundwater, soil and rock.
How does it affect me?
This hazardous element flows unnoticeably into your home or business through insignificant gaps and cracks in the building’s construction. Since radon is formed in the ground, the soil beneath your home can become compromised, and if there is radon below your home, it will find its way inside.
The EPA estimates that radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer, affecting non-smokers and smokers alike. Each year, approximately 15,000 people will die from lung cancer due to radon toxicity.
What are the risk factors?
Several factors put you at a higher risk for exposure than others, such as the location of the building, i.e. within certain counties of the Pacific Northwest, the integrity of the home, and the security or tightness of the construction. Newer buildings are at a higher risk since radon may become trapped between freshly sealed developments.
What can I do to protect myself and my family?
Inspection and testing is the only way to determine your exposure level. Since radon cannot be completely eradicated, the treatment is to force the radon away from the building and into the air, hence the term “dilution is the solution.”
When do I need an inspection?
If you are buying, selling or building, a radon inspection should be an automatic step in the process. Newer homes and buildings with concrete slabs, such as those with basements or those with a crawlspace/ ventilation space beneath the flooring can lead to elevated radon concentrations. The EPA also developed a Radon Zone Map based on location and density to help people address and mitigate radon exposure indoors.
What happens next?
One step at a time. The test is inexpensive, and the fix is relatively easy. Do not be caught off guard by an invisible, and deadly, invader. Protect your family and schedule an inspection today. After that, you will be armed with the facts and the solution to stay safe and healthy.
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