Although radon is a naturally occurring gas, it is radioactive and hazardous. Exposure to radon in the home seriously threatens your health and reinforces the importance of indoor air quality and testing.
What is Radon Gas?
Radon is a radioactive gas that is both colorless and odorless. The dangerous gas is a by-product of the natural breakdown of uranium below the earth’s surface.
Radon in the air can rise to dangerous levels when a home or building is on soil containing uranium deposits. The gap seeps into a building through any crack or opening, such as a gap in the foundation. Anyone inside can be exposed and breathe the gas into their lungs.
Exposure to Radon in the Home Can Cause Lung Cancer
When someone inhales the gas, the particles enter their lungs and increase their risk of lung cancer. The longer someone is exposed to the gas, the higher their risk of developing cancer.
Those who smoke are particularly at risk for developing lung cancer when also exposed to radon gas. Smokers should talk to their doctors and schedule regular checkups and cancer screenings to stay healthy.
What are the Symptoms of Radon Exposure?
No specific medical tests indicate exposure to radon gas; however, the American Cancer Society lists these possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer:
- Chest tightness and or pain
- Respiratory problems such as trouble breathing
- A persistent and worsening cough
- Trouble swallowing
Testing for Radon in the Home
When testing your home for radon, contact a professional. Home test kits for radon levels are available at most hardware stores. However, these can be inaccurate and are not recommended.
The test can be either short-term or long-term, conducted over several months. The longer the test, the more accurate the reading. The testing is performed in the lowest area in your home.
A professional with knowledge about radon testing will be able to test your home accurately and share the results with you. Your radon professional will advise on the appropriate steps to take if the test reveals dangerous levels.
On Point Property Inspections provides home inspections in the Greater Triangle area of North Carolina. Contact us to schedule our services.