What Is Radon? The Danger Behind It

Here in the United States, the question of “what is radon?” is certainly not an uncommon one. After all, most people who you wanted to talk to about the dangers of radon would first ask “what is radon?” The answer to this question of what is radon is simple. Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be detected through the use of sight, smell, or taste. It can, however, cause a number of very severe health problems, many of them linked to the radioactive trait of this gas.

And, unfortunately, far too many people who will ask “what is radon?” will actually have high levels of radon in their very own homes. Some years back, the Environmental Protection Agency (also known, perhaps more commonly, as the EPA) set an action level for radon at 4 pCi/L. In today’s world, as many as one out of every 15 homes meets or exceeds that action level.

In some parts of the country, the problem of radon exposure is even worse. Such is the case for Native American reservations. In such places, one third of all homes have been found with levels of radon gas that exceed that aforementioned radon action level, putting the people within them greatly at risk, especially if the radon exposure has been extended over a considerable period of time.

But though many people will certainly ask “what is radon?” many others won’t understand why radon is dangerous even once the question of “what is radon?” has been thoroughly answered. Unfortunately, radon poses a substantial risk when someone is exposed to it for an extended period of time, particularly when it comes to lung cancer. Lung cancer and radon exposure are very much linked, so much so that it has even been discovered that extensive radon exposure is one of the leading causes of lung cancer here in the United States, second behind smoking alone.

And the toll of lung cancer caused by radon exposure is most certainly a high one. Each and every year, in fact, upwards of 20,000 people will die of lung cancer that they contracted due to an extended period of radon exposure. And lung cancer, unfortunately, is typically diagnosed in its later stages, when it is much more difficult to treat if treatment is really possible at all. For many people, palliative care becomes the only logical course of action after receiving a late stage lung cancer diagnosis.

And while lung cancer is certainly a terrifying prospect for the vast majority of people here in the United States, it’s one that can be prevented through radon testing. Radon testing can be performed by a radon testing company in your area, who will send out a radon testing contractor to install a radon test somewhere in your home. There are two main types of radon tests that are likely to be used in this process of getting your radon test results.

The first type of test is that of the short term radon detector, used by radon testing and mitigation companies when radon levels over a period of no more than 90 days need to be measured. In some cases, this type of short term radon detector will be used for only a period of two or so days before the results are gathered. The long term radon detector is much more thorough, as it will measure radon levels in any give home past that 90 day mark, making it the ideal residential radon testing service for homes that are at risk for radon exposure, such as homes on any given Native American reservation throughout the country.

Hopefully your home will not have significant levels of radon, but if it does, this threat is one that can be managed through the use of radon mitigation services. Radon mitigation services can send radon mitigation professionals to your home, a step that will help the problem to be more thoroughly assessed. Once such professionals have thoroughly surveyed and assessed your home, they can come up with a plan of action to remove the radon from your home – or at least bring it down to below that action level that has been set by the EPA.

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