Radon, The Silent Killer

radon the silent killer

Radon, The Silent Killer

If you are like most people, when you hear the term “Radon Gas”, your mind immediately conjures up visions of inter-planetary war with aliens, or little green men with antennae protruding from their heads.  Perhaps it’s the name that throws us, or perhaps our lack of understanding about this potentially lethal gas.

One thing is sure, in the case of Radon Gas, ignorance is definitely not bliss.  What you don’t know can kill you.  To help you understand the threats and dangers associated with Radon Gas, we have outlined some basic information everyone should be aware of.  So, let’s dive right in. First of all, it is important to understand what Radon Gas is.

What Is Radon Gas?

Rather than spout off a layman’s definition, let’s get the answer straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. The World Health Organization is an excellent resource for any information on health risks that could affect your family. Here is their explanation of what Radon Gas Is:

Radon is a chemically inert, naturally occurring, radioactive gas. It has no smell, color, or taste, and is produced from the natural radioactive decay of uranium which is found in rocks and soil.

Radon gas escapes easily from rocks and soils into the air and tends to concentrate in enclosed spaces, such as underground mines, houses, and other buildings.

Soil gas infiltration is recognized as the most important source of residential radon. Other sources of radon include building materials and water extracted from wells, but are of less importance. (World Health Organization, Ionizing Radon)

A secondary definition comes to us courtesy of the Britannica Website.

By the late 1980s, naturally occurring radon gas had come to be recognized as a potentially serious health hazard. Radioactive decay of uranium in minerals, especially granite, generates radon gas that can diffuse through soil and rock and enter buildings through basements (radon has a higher density than air) and through water supplies derived from wells (radon has a significant solubility in water). The gas can accumulate in the air of poorly ventilated houses. (Britannica, Science & Radon)

radon the silent killer

How Did It Get Into My House?

That’s an excellent question.  If we could have the ideal home, it would be totally air tight and we wouldn’t have to worry about anything seeping into our living area.

Unfortunately, the fact is, even new construction can be susceptible to ionizing radon gas infiltration.  Radon gas is lighter than air, and so it tends to float up like a helium balloon let loose into the air. It can enter your home in a number of ways.

Through drains in showers, sinks, and utility rooms

Through your hot water heater

Through cracks and fissures in your homes foundation

And many other similar openings in your home. Because it is odorless and invisible, the only way to know for sure is to have your home tested for radon leaks.  While there are in-home tests that you can purchase, for your peace of mind we recommend having a professional perform the inspection.  It’s worth any added cost to have peace of mind knowing your family and home are safe.

Is Radon Gas Really That Big of a Deal? I Feel Fine!

Gee, that’s a good question.  Let’s ask the W.H.O. again to see what they have to say.

Exposure to radon in the home and workplace is one of the main risks of ionizing radiation causing tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year globally. In order to reduce this burden, it is important that national authorities have methods and tools based on solid scientific evidence and sound public health policy. The public needs to be aware of radon risks and the means to reduce and prevent these.

Recent findings from case-control studies on lung cancer and exposure to radon in homes completed in many countries allow for substantial improvement in risk estimates and for further consolidation of knowledge by pooling data from these studies. The consistency of the findings from the latest pooled analyses of case-control studies from Europe and North America as well as China provides a strong argument for an international initiative to reduce indoor radon risks. (World Health Organization, Ionizing Radon)

Still Not Convinced?

Here’s Some Information That Will Change Your Mind

radon gas

Fact

As you can see from the map to the right, Utah is prime Radon Gas country.

Radon Ionization Map of Utah

(Courtesy of Utah Geological Survey)

radon gas

Fact

1 in 3 homes in Utah have Potential Radon Gas Levels Higher Than Normal

radon gas

Fact

Radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer nationwide, accounting for an estimated 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year, according to the American Lung Association

radon gas

Fact

Radon Gas Exposure is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.

The Dangers of Radon Gas

Dr. Wally Ackerly – Oncologist, Huntsman Cancer Institute

January Is Radon Awareness Month

To celebrate, we are offering $25.00 off of any radon gas inspection during the month of January.  The inspection must be scheduled during the month of January to be valid.  Radon gas is a danger you cannot ignore, schedule your inspection today.

To Schedule An Inspection, Click Here


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