Radon gas is one of the deadliest in the world. But what do you really know about this silent killer, and how can you be sure you’ve taken the right measures to protect your family? Here are just a few things you should be aware of when considering radon and the threat it brings into your home.
1. It’s completely undetectable.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can only be detected through the use of special equipment. You won’t know if radon is in your home unless you have your property professionally evaluated. If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to radon, contact someone immediately.
2. It’s radioactive.
While less potent than a nuclear site by itself, radon is actually considered deadlier than a nuclear site because it represents such a big threat to the modern homeowner. You could be breathing in radon for years before you get sick.
3. It’s a big source of lung cancer.
Behind smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thinks that more than 20,000 people die from this each year in the U.S. alone.
4. It costs the country a lot of money.
All those healthcare costs are a big strain on the U.S. treasury. According to studies by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Surgeon General’s Office, radon-related medical treatment costs somewhere around $2 billion a year.
5. It’s everywhere.
One in three homes has a dangerous level of radon. This isn’t even including homes with radon levels under 4 pCi/L, the officially-recognized cutoff point for danger; one in three homes is above 4 pCi/L. Radon is a genuine epidemic for air quality.
6. Children are especially vulnerable.
No one is quite sure why children are affected by radon more than anyone else, but doctors think it may have something to do with their faster breathing rates. Their cells are another possibility; the cells of children divide quickly, making them more vulnerable to radiation in all its forms.
These are just a few warnings about the dangers of radon. If you’re scared, that’s a good thing; let your fear motivate you to actually have your home tested. Even if the tests come back negative, at least you’ll gain the peace of mind that your property is radon-free and safe for your loved ones.