What You Need to Know about Radon and Radon Testing
Radon is a radioactive material formed by the small amounts of uranium that naturally occurs in many types of soils. It’s colorless, odorless, and is usually found in a gaseous state, which requires special equipment to detect. The gas has a half-life of 3.8 days, meaning it takes that long for a given amount of radon to decay into half the amount. The reason you need to know this is because when it decays it turns into a series of new elements that cause damage to tissue on a cellular level.
Radon Exposure Mechanisms
Radon gas can enter a building from the soil via cracks in the foundation or by seeping through the foundation itself if there in enough air pressure between a crawlspace and the soil. The gas can accumulate and enter through drafts of HVAC systems in the building, where it will decay into the radioactive materials mentioned above. These materials can then attach themselves to things as mundane as smoke, dust, or aerosol. When inhaled by humans, the harmful substances will be introduced into the lungs.
Health Hazards of Radon
Once inside the lungs, the elements will continue to decay and emit radiation, most importantly alpha particles. The alpha particles are absorbed by the nearby lung tissues and cause localized cellular damage. This damage can lead to lung cancer. In Canada and the USA, radon gas exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer – second only after smoking.
It is important to remember that there is no safe level of this gas, even at tested homes that are found to be acceptable by environmental agencies.
If you book a radon test, a guaranteed certified technician will come to your home and put technology in place that can monitor the air in your home for the gas. The samples taken will then be checked by a highly qualified third party and a report will be sent from an accredited laboratory to your home with full details of the inspection. If the gas is found, the technician will then discuss with you ways of taking care of the problem.
Don’t hesitate to get your air tested. It can be the difference between getting sick and staying healthy for years to come.