Radon safety: You can’t see it, smell it or touch it.
The #1 cause of lung cancer outside of smoking is a radioactive gas that everyone breathes in every day, usually at low levels, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Radon gas is produced from a natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. This radioactive gas can be detected in homes, offices and schools; it enters buildings through cracks in floors and walls, construction joints or gaps around service pipes, electrical wires and sump pits.
When radon gas exceeds acceptable levels, the result can be deadly.
Scientists estimate 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year are related to radon.
People who breathe in radioactive particles, swallow water with high radon levels or are exposed to radon for a long period of time are susceptible to lung damage and lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency says nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in America is estimated to have elevated radon levels.
In Illinois, almost 1 in every 2 homes that have been tested have elevated levels (41%). Dr. Wallace Akerley of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City likened living under such conditions to smoking one or two packs of cigarettes a day. Radon safety is something that should be taken as seriously as smoking.
In May 2015, he was questioned for an article while treating two women diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. Neither was a smoker. Akerley said there was little doubt what caused damage to their lung tissue: breathing in radiation. But this is a preventable cancer.
The first step to radon safety is to have your home tested for high levels of radon. If your home comes back with a high radon reading, having a radon reduction system installed will help lower your levels of radon. Decreasing the amount of radon you are exposed to is the best prevention to lung cancer caused by radon.
Trinity Radon Mitigation is licensed, bonded & insured. If you have any questions about the radon level in your home, please call us at 630-554-1492.
***This radon safety post originally appeared on the National Safety Council’s website.