Radon gas, one of the least noticeable but highly dangerous contaminants found right within the soil surrounding the foundation of a house, should be something that all homeowners need to pay attention to. What is radon and how does this affect your home and your health? Read on to find out more.
What Is Radon?
Radon is classified as a naturally-occurring gas with radioactive properties that may damage both the lungs and the human DNA. Because of these effects, it can cause cancer among homeowners when inhaled. Radon is an “invisible gas” as it can kill without you even knowing it. Humans cannot directly smell, see, or taste it since it is formed when uranium, radium and thorium break down within soil that has components of water and rocks. The importance of protecting your house from this contaminant should be at the top of your priority list.
Is Your Home A Victim Of Radon Contamination?
Radon can seep into your home when you have certain parts in the household that have holes and gaps. It can enter into these spaces when you have cracks in the walls and flooring, gaps in the pipes, or open windows and doors that allow air to pass through. Radon also finds an entry point through fireplaces, furnaces, and exterior heating and cooling systems. Aside from these, it may also penetrate through well water pipes and joints formed in construction.
Is your household prone to this element? The answer is both a yes and a no. While there are certain areas in the United States, for instance, that are less prone to contamination, there are areas that have higher levels of radon because of their geographical location. Some of these areas include the Midwest, the Northern Plains, Southern Appalachia, and the Northeast. Though your area might not be part of this list, radon can occur anywhere so checking out some precautionary measures is still a must.
How Radon Affects Homes
You have learned some of the ways that radon can seep into your home ¾ now, we will get down to the specifics. Because this component mostly comes from soil, the air pressure inside buildings, and dwellings is lower than that found under these buildings. The difference in the pressure forms a suction and because of this, radon can enter through these gaps.
Not only though the soil foundation, but radon also comes in through water that flows from the outdoors to inside these houses. When your water is sourced from freshwater such as rivers and lakes, it may not be an issue. But when a home gets its water from groundwater and wells, then it may be mixed in and can blend with the water you drink and use for bathing, laundry, and washing the dishes.
Some Health Risks
Did you know that this odorless and invisible gas can cause lung cancer? Statistics from the United States Environmental Protection Agency revealed that more than 20,000 people succumb to lung cancer-related deaths because of radon exposure every year. This figure makes it the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
Radon itself is a hazardous chemical that may be used in some industries but never for household use. Aside from lung cancer, exposure to this contaminant may also bring about stomach cancer. When this element is found within water sources and is drank, it may affect body processes and ultimately cause the development of stomach cancer.
There have been recorded deaths as a result of radon and stomach cancer. Apart from drinking, it may also be inhaled when the radon-contaminated water is used for washing hands, taking a bath, and more. There are now several regulations that have prompted agencies to promote the elimination of radon from water. They have partnered with homeowners’ associations and businesses to get these things solved before they become worse.
Effects On Children
The last thing that every parent wants to face is their children’s exposure to radon and the problems associated with it. Pregnant women residing in houses that have the presence of radon can experience double impacts ¾ both for the mothers and the children they carry. Children born from mothers exposed to radon are more at risk for cancer and other diseases.
Furthermore, this age group is also understood to be more prone to these conditions because they have higher respiratory rates and still have immature cells. Many of these toddlers are also prone to radon due to their contact with the floor when crawling around and playing.
Yes, radon and exposure to the element is highly scary. If this is even the slightest concern for you and your family, you should take every precaution and try to minimize your risk immediately. Given the risks associated with radon, it is essential that you contact experts like those at i">>Radonova to aid you in keeping your family safe.
Source : http://realtytimes.com/advicefromtheexpert/item/1007841-radon-gas-101-what-is-it-and-how-it-may-be-affecting-your-home-and-health?rtmpage=EleTa1001